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In the 1840s, acclaimed self-taught paleontologist Mary Anning works alone on the wild and brutal Southern English coastline of Lyme Regis. The days of her famed discoveries behind her, she now hunts for common fossils to sell to rich tourists to support herself and her ailing widowed mother. When one such tourist, Roderick Murchison, arrives in Lyme on the first leg of a European tour, he entrusts Mary with the care of his young wife Charlotte, who is recuperating from a personal tragedy. Mary, whose life is a daily struggle on the poverty line, cannot afford to turn him down but, proud and relentlessly passionate about her work, she clashes with her unwanted guest. They are two women from utterly different worlds. Yet despite the chasm between their social spheres and personalities, Mary and Charlotte discover they can each offer what the other has been searching for: the realisation that they are not alone. It is the beginning of a passionate and all-consuming love affair that will defy all social bounds and alter the course of both lives irrevocably.
Both a heartfelt love-story and an examination of gender, class and society, 'Ammonite' brings to life in vivid detail the life of a woman unappreciated in her own time. A pioneering paleontologist and passionate fossil collector, Anning’s findings contributed to changes in scientific thinking around the prehistory of the Earth and saw her named as one of the most influential women in British scientific history by the Royal Society after her death.
Official Selection Cannes Film Festival 2020
Official Selection BFI London Film Festival 2020 - Closing Night Gala


Type of film
Running Time
120 min
Francis Lee
Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly
Robert How
Executive Producer
Simon Gillis, Mary Burke, Rose Garnett, Zygi Kamasa
Chris Wyatt
Francis Lee
Director of Photography
Stéphane Fontaine
Production Designer
Sarah Finlay
Volker Bertelmann, Dustin O'Halloran
Principal Cast
Kate Winslet, Saoirse Ronan, James McArdle, Alec Secareanu, Fiona Shaw


Production status


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Last updated 3rd September 2019

Production Company

A See-Saw Films, BBC Films, BFI production

See-Saw Films
3rd Floor
45 Folgate Street
E1 6GL
+44 (0)20 3301 6268


Cross City Films
3rd Floor
45 Folgate Street
E1 6GL
+44 (0)20 3301 6268