Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Oscars 2020: “Ammonite” is the Festival Non Festival Movie No One Wants Us to See Until It’s Too Late


As the very odd little 2021 Oscar race continues to look for entries, one film is the weirdest of them all: Francis Lee’s “Ammonite.”

What’s with this “Ammonite”? We know Saoirse Ronan and Kate Winslet have a sex scene. It’s practically been painted for us in day glo colors.

“Ammonite” has 30 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, so someone’s seen it, and rating of 80%. Neon Films is releasing it and hoping for Oscar nominations for Ronan and Winslet and maybe Fiona Shaw. With the scarcity of films, and roles for actresses, “Ammonite” would seem like a good candidate to supply those categories.

The Lee film was also put into festivals, like Toronto and this weekend’s Hamptons Film Festival. But the movie has become sort of the non-entry. In each case, press is not allowed to access the film digitally. You were either in Toronto (impossible thanks to border issues) or you’re supposed to be in a car at a drive in in the Hamptons this Friday. Otherwise, we’ll have to wait and see it when (and if) it’s released next month.

This is very unusual. You wonder if there had been regular press at the festivals if “Ammonite” would have been available¬† at all. And what’s the big fuss? The lesbian scene? Been there, done that.

In Best Actress, “Ammonite” will not be a piece of cake. We already have Frances McDormand in the lead, Jennifer Hudson as a strong hopeful, and maybe Halle Berry. I’d include Olivia Colman from “The Father.” So Neon will have to choose between its leading ladies for lead and supporting. I’d guess Kate Winslet, who won an Oscar for “The Reader,” will go in the former, and Saoirse will go in supporting.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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