Kate Winslet, Saoirse Ronan's upcoming drama Ammonite accused of fabricating lesbian storyline
Kate Winslet's upcoming film about renowned paleontologist had been criticised by relatives for ‘unconfirmed’ portrait of her sexuality
Filmmaker Francis Lee's upcoming movie Ammonite starring Kate Winslet and actor Saoirse Ronan has been accused of fabricating a lesbian plotline within the film.
The film, first announced in December, is a biographical drama about paleontologist Mary Anning (played by Winslet) who begins a relationship with Frances Bell, her nursemaid (Ronan).
However, many have questioned the film's storyline, with Anning's real-life descendants claiming that her sexuality was never confirmed. "Do the film-makers have to resort to using unconfirmed aspects to somebody's sexuality to make an already remarkable story sensational?" Barbara Anning said.
"Imagine the shame and embarrassment this woman would be feeling right now to actually have her private sex life discussed and played out on screen. This adds nothing to her story," she added.
Lorraine Anning, another relative of the paleontologist, believes the decision to create a gay relationship involving Anning was taken so as to make the film more attractive to the audiences.
Lee, best known for 2017 gay drama "God's Own Country", defended the film on Twitter.
A Sunday thread: It has come to my attention there is huge speculation about my new film and the ‘controversial’ flames that have been fanned on a slow ‘news’ story day by newspapers and columnists who haven’t read my script or know anything about my film
— Francis Lee (@strawhousefilms) March 17, 2019
The director said the LGBTQ history has often been "straightened" in the culture and said, "As a working class, queer filmmaker, I continually explore the themes of class, gender, sexuality within my work, treating my truthful characters with utter respect and I hope giving them authentic respectful lives and relationships they deserve," Lee said.
(With inputs from Press Trust of India)
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