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.