I wish this movie was better
Release date: September 11, 2020
Director: Francis Lee
Who should watch this movie: Sapphics starved for content.
When should you watch this movie: On a cold, gray afternoon, ideally by the ocean. When you have access to enough alcohol. If possible, by candlelight (it won’t make the movie any better but sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself to ambiance).
The sell: This film is somehow both a slow burn and a rushed telling of a story we’ve seen before: forbidden romance between an older, jaded queer person and a younger, idealistic queer person with a backdrop of obscure or esoteric academic pursuits (see Call Me By Your Name). But for a movie about lesbians and paleontology, there isn’t much of either. Set on the southern coast of England, this movie spends protracted seconds gazing out at a turbulent sea as Kate Winslet trudges angrily along the rocky shore. Less screen time is dedicated to the growing attraction between the two main characters and EVEN LESS is dedicated to Fiona Shaw (a crime). The movie thus relies heavily on the fact that the audience already knows what’s going to happen before the movie starts (they gave it away in the trailer). The marketing spoiler causes us to project tension and attraction onto a story lacking in both. Probing dialogue, lingering touches, yearning stares, and all the fixings of a better executed love story are either lukewarm or absent altogether. If Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan make another gay movie together though, I’ll probably watch that one too.