Mary Shelley

Her greatest love inspired her darkest creation.

Mary Shelley is a luscious-looking spectacle, drenched in the colours and visceral sensations of nature, the sensuality of young lovers, the passionate disappointment of loss and betrayal. But above all it is a film about ideas, one which breaks out of the well-worn mold of period drama (partly, anyway) by reaching deeply into the mind of the extraordinary woman who, at 18, wrote the Gothic evergreen Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus.

Poster for the biographical drama Mary ShelleyMaking Mary into a woman in control of her life and choices rather than a victim of cruel and insensitive men, director Haifaa Al-Mansour (Wadjda) shows how the struggles of her youth swiftly matured her understanding of women's place in the world. Elle Fanning’s vivid portrayal of the writer as a young author shows an understanding that, for all its sadness and distress, her life shone with greatness. She is a survivor who has gone through hell and come out on the other side, scarred but wiser, while the famous men in her life – her publisher father William Godwin, her lover Percy Bysshe Shelley, and her mentor Lord Byron – have to hang their heads and acknowledge her talent. 

– Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

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