Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan share a kiss in the first trailer for Ammonite, a new historical drama from the creator of God’s Own Country.
Set in the 1840s, the film stars Winslet as real-life pioneering paleontologist Mary Anning.
Ronan plays Charlotte Murchison, a wealthy married woman recovering from illness in Mary’s care.
Though the two women are from different worlds, their unlikely friendship turns into a passionate love affair.
The dramatic love story was helmed by Francis Lee, the writer and director of earlier queer cinematic gem God’s Own Country.
Lee told EW his film focuses on the “the power of love; the power of a deep, intimate, human relationship; the power of touch; and hope.”
“[Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan] play two women who develop an intense and intimate relationship,” he said.
“I was very drawn to that period because of wonderful research on same-sex female relationships at that time.
“[They] are all very well-documented with letters to each other, demonstrating wonderful, life-long, passionate, intense, emotional relationships.”
Lee said he was fascinated by the film’s “totally patriarchal” setting.
“Women were completely owned by their fathers or their husbands, and [the film looks] at how they live within that world.
“Also at that time, the medical profession believed that women had no sexual-pleasure organs.
“The idea of two women actually in a relationship together was just not a thought anybody ever had within society.”
Ammonite director defends movie’s lesbian relationship
Ammonite faced criticism earlier this year, with relative Barbara Anning claiming the women’s relationship is “pure Hollywood” fiction.
“I do not believe there is any evidence to back up portraying her as a gay woman,” she told the UK’s Telegraph.
Lee defended the decision on Twitter. He argued queer history is “routinely ‘straightened’ throughout culture.”
“Given a historical figure where there is no evidence whatsoever of a heterosexual relationship, is it not permissible to view that person within another context?” he wrote.
Ammonite will premiere at the Toronto film festival next month. The film has a release date of November 13.
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.