‘Ammonite’ Review: Love on the Rocks

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Ammonite (CREDIT: NEON)

Starring: Kate Winslet, Saoirse Ronan, Fiona Shaw, Gemma Jones, James McArdle

Director: Francis Lee

Running Time: 120 Minutes

Rating: R for Some Quite Graphic Bedroom Scenes

Release Date: November 13, 2020 (Theaters)/December 4, 2020 (On Demand)

Man, if you’re into rocks AND forbidden love stories, you’re gonna love Ammonite. Me personally, I can certainly enjoy the latter, though they can be heart-wrenchingly bittersweet. As for the former, rocks definitely serve their purpose here on Earth, but I’m not particularly inclined to spend an entire day studying them. Nor am I particularly inclined to watch a movie that dedicates a good portion of itself to people doing just that. But I always aim to be open-minded, so I decided to give Ammonite a chance to see if it could win me over. Ultimately, it all went about exactly as I would have expected, with the paleontology scenes making me go, “Wow, Kate Winslet sure does enjoy studying fossils a lot more than I ever would” and the romance scenes making me go, “Wow, Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan sure do trust each other enough to get really, really explicit.”

It’s the 1840s on the Southern English coast. Winslet plays Mary Anning, who is now officially the most passionate paleontologist I’ve ever heard of. She supports herself and her mother by selling fossils to tourists, and one of those folks, geologist Roderick Murchison (James McArdle), offers her something rather unique. His wife Charlotte (Ronan) is suffering from one of those vague 19th century illnesses that result in general exhaustion, and he’s entrusted Mary to caring after her. Mary and Charlotte proceed to spend plenty of time alone, thus awakening passions that are generally not spoken about in polite British society.

Like most other recent period queer love stories I’ve encountered, the affair between Mary and Charlotte is able to thrive in a little pocket of the larger world. There’s even a hint that it could last indefinitely. So I’m fascinated that the ultimate roadblock for these two is less about society frowning upon them and more about the struggle to bridge the gap between their very different lives. Mary is so married to her work that she cannot imagine uprooting herself in any way (there’s also the matter of supporting her mother). With Ammonite so firmly foregrounded in the literal ground, it comes off as rather quotidian and even dispassionate (though certainly not shy). So in conclusion, I haven’t suddenly been inspired to start studying fossils myself, but I am still heartbroken when two star-crossed souls can’t quite make it work.

Ammonite is Recommended If You Like: Fossils, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Rocks on the beach, Walks on the beach

Grade: 3 out of 5 Rocks

The Middle 7.16 – “The Man Hunt”

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“Ask me a question.” “Can I go?” http://www.starpulse.com/news/index.php/2016/02/25/the-middle-season-7-episode-16-recap-i

Jeffrey Malone Newsletter

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Dear Readers and Followers,

I am launching a newsletter that features links to my recent articles and other creative work in a convenient, digestible format. I am planning on doing this on a biweekly schedule. Click the link below if you would like to sign up, and please send me feedback if you are inspired to do so!



Fuse Top 20 Countdown – 7/16/14

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Original Version
1. Sam Smith – “Stay With Me”
2. Nico & Vinz – “Am I Wrong”
3. Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea – “Problem”
4. Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX – “Fancy”
5. Maroon 5 – “Maps”
6. Jason Derulo ft. Snoop Dogg – “Whistle”
7. Disclosure ft. Sam Smith – “Latch”
8. Charli XCX – “Boom Clap”
9. Calvin Harris – “Summer”
10. Ed Sheeran ft. Pharrell – “Sing”
11. OneRepublic – “Love Runs Out”
12. Sia – “Chandelier”
13. Pharrell – “Happy”
14. DJ Snake & Lil’ Jon – “Turn Down For What”
15. MKTO – “Classic”
16. John Legend – “All of Me”
17. Kongos – “Come With Me Now”
18. Paramore – “Ain’t It Fun”
19. 5 Seconds of Summer – “She Looks So Perfect”
20. Demi Lovato ft. Cher Lloyd – “Really Don’t Care”

Jmunney’s Revision
1. Chandelier
2. Summer
3. Fancy
4. Happy
5. Come With Me Now
6. Latch
7. Turn Down For What
8. Stay With Me
9. Ain’t It Fun
10. Am I Wrong
11. Boom Clap
12. Problem
13. Love Runs Out
14. Sing
15. Really Don’t Care
16. Maps
17. All of Me
18. Wiggle
19. She Looks So Perfect
20. Classic

Watch And/Or Listen to This: Birdy’s “Wings”

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“Wings” was featured in the trailers for Labor Day (which looks bizarrely awful) and Winter’s Tale (which just looks bizarre).  Then I heard it again in a Community Jeff/Annie shipping video, and while I do like that pairing, this isn’t the sort of music I like to hear when watching clips of those two.  But the song stuck with me.  I have kind of been familiar with Birdy for a few years – she wasn’t exactly my thing, but I did detect an alternative sensibility.  So I thought it would be worth it to listen to the entirety of “Wings.”  And I am happy I did; I really dig Ms. van den Bogaerde’s voice, especially when she goes “it made me think of you” and “for the rest of our lives.”

VH1 Top 20 Countdown – 7/21/12

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Let’s break out of the Countdown Contender ghetto!

Original Version
1. Katy Perry – “Wide Awake”
2. Rihanna – “Where Have You Been”
3. Usher – “Scream”
4. Maroon 5 ft. Wiz Khalifa – “Payphone”
5. David Guetta ft. Sia – “Titanium”
6. Gym Class Heroes ft. Patrick Stump – “The Fighter (Unplugged)”
7. Ellie Goulding – “Lights”
8. Kelly Clarkson – “Dark Side”
9. Demi Lovato – “Give Your Heart a Break”
10. Calvin Harris ft. Ne-Yo – “Let’s Go”
11. Carly Rae Jepsen – “Call Me Maybe”
12. Linkin Park – “Burn It Down”
13. Ed Sheeran – “The A Team”
14. B.o.B ft. Taylor Swift – “Both of Us”
15. Train – “50 Ways to Say Goodbye”
16. Neon Trees – “Everybody Talks”
17. Carrie Underwood – “Good Girl”
18. The Lumineers – “Ho Hey”
19. fun. – “Some Nights”
20. Emeli Sandé – “Next to Me”

Jmunney’s Revision
1. Lights
2. Titanium
3. Where Have You Been
4. Wide Awake
5. Ho Hey
6. Good Girl
7. Call Me Maybe
8. Give Your Heart a Break
9. Let’s Go
10. Next to Me
11. Burn It Down
12. Some Nights
13. Scream
14. Dark Side
15. 50 Ways to Say Goodbye
16. The A Team
17. Everybody Talks
18. Both of Us
19. Payphone
20. The Fighter

Upcoming Blog Posts

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Loyal readers of Jmunney’s Blog, I feel that I ought to update you on what topics I am planning to blog on in the near future.  I do this so that you have the chance to offer me advice on what direction I should take these posts and so that I have the opportunity to hear this advice.  Also, if there are any pop cultural topics that I have not thought of that you would like to hear my musings on, let me know.

Near Future Posts
-Reconsidering Colin Quinn, Weekend Update Anchor
-Year-End Roundup:
  -Best Movies of 2010
  -Best in Music 2010 (Best Songs of the Year, Most Awesomely Bad Song(s) of the Year, Best Music Videos of the Year)
  (Any other year-end roundup topics I should cover?)

Undetermined Future Posts, Part 1: Some Research Necessary
TV Shows That Entertainment Weekly Has Led Me to Believe are the Best Show Ever
-My Favorite Songs of All Time
-Good Songs That I Used to Think Were Bad
-My Favorite Linkin Park Songs to Sing
-My Celebrity Crushes
-Moments from Working at the Movie Theatre That Have Surprised Me
-The Best Bands Without Any Songs in Rock Band/Guitar Hero

Undetermined Future Posts, Part 2: Major Research Necessary
-The Best Lost Scenes
-The Best Music Videos of the (Aught) Decade
-Recaps of Every SNL Season