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American writer in Paris is hired to do a script for an edgy young director he can't stand. When he falls in love with the director's cold and manipulative pretty sister, his life starts to unravel and he realizes that he's been used.
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Emilio Martínez Lázaro
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In 1814, Regency-era London, Mary Wollstonecraft-Godwin is a 16 year old aspiring writer working in the bookshop of her father, renowned writer William Godwin, now re-married to Mary Jane Clairmont after the passing of his first wife, philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft. Mary Jane's daughter, Claire Clairmont and Mary have become close stepsisters. Whilst visiting Scotland at the house of one of William's friends, Mary meets the 21 year old poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and an instant attraction sparks between them. Returning to London a little time later, Mary unexpectedly meets Percy again when he appears at her house, asking William to take him on as an apprentice. Fascinated by Percy, Mary begins a bohemian and torrid relationship with him, despite the opposition of her father and her stepmother, especially after they discover Percy is married with a daughter whom he supports but no longer loves. Determined to be free and live on her own terms, Mary flees with Percy to live together, ...Written by
Chockys, updated by Shannon Britton-Jones
In one of the scenes that take place during the stay of Mary in Scotland, while the characters walk through the field, a group of lumberjacks is cutting logs. But although they raise the ax and the blow is heard, it is clear how their tool does not touch the wood. See more »
Evidently you are a stranger to scandal, Miss Godwin. Did you know I ran away with Percy when I was a girl? Idealism and love give us courage. But they do not prepare you for the sacrifice required to love a man like Percy.
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Even though the movie is clearly based on real people, including of course Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, Claire Clairmont and many others, the end titles include the ridiculous disclaimer that "The characters depicted in this motion picture are fictitious, and any similarity to the history of any person is entirely coincidental." See more »
I had only previously read excerpts from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, but it's hard to deny the endearing legacy the novel had in literature and even in cinema. I was pretty hyped to see this because it seemed intriguing and also because it was clearly Elle Fanning appreciation weekend. After making the assumption that most of the events in the film are fairly accurate I must admit that I enjoyed this film.
The film follows the early life of Mary Shelley and her first love to Percy Shelley. Percy was a bit of a philanderer but Mary persevered because she loved him. She experiences heartbreak and loss through her early years but then comes upon circumstances where she is able to write her own novel in a competition. Of course, this novel comes to be known as Frankenstein. However, its tough for Mary to get the credit she deserves for it because it was not common for women at the time to be known for their writing. Also, her husband was already an established writer so people assumed it was his story.
I'm a fan of both of the Fanning sisters but I think Elle is the better actress. After seeing her in this and How to Talk to Girls at Parties, I can see her dedication and how committed she is to a role. She is a strong point as to why this film is enjoyable. I also liked the set and costume design was very accurate for period detail. Technically, the film looks the part so its nice to stare at. I haven't seen Haifaa al-Mansour's previous effort but feel inclined to check it out since I enjoyed this biopic enough.
I'd say the main weakness of the film is its lack of focus on Frankenstein. The film is primarily focused on Shelley's love life and then kind of kicks into focusing on her writing efforts but even so the film does not really illustrate the importance of the work or the profound effect it has on people. They cover the inspiration for the work but I don't think its nearly enough. Overall, a pretty solid film with flaws but one thats heralded by a strong lead performance.
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