Mary Shelley is a 2017 American/British/Luxembourg romantic drama film that references the science fiction and horror genres, directed by Haifaa al-Mansour from a screenplay by Emma Jensen. The film stars Elle Fanning, Maisie Williams, Douglas Booth, Bel Powley, and Ben Hardy.
Explores writer Mary Shelley’s first love and romantic relationship with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, which inspired Mary to write Frankenstein…
… it’s a double shame that such a rich story should be given such surface-level treatment, and its heroine reduced to a two-dimensional shade mouthing vacuous pseudo-feminist platitudes.” Christopher Machell, CineVue
“It’s somewhat amusing – especially Tom Sturridge, who turns Lord Byron into poetry’s version of Jack Sparrow – but immediately forgettable.” Mark Medley, Globe and Mail
“Mary Shelley is a diverting enough biopic that features decent performances through an often vivid lens, but given the unusual facts of the author’s life, a far more offbeat and far less rigid film could have been made here.” Benjamin Lee, The Guardian
” …by its second act, presumably once Al-Mansour realized that no Mary Shelley biopic would be remotely complete with actually showing off the creation of Frankenstein, the film turns towards unwieldy and bizarre, all dramatic rainstorms and overwrought nightmares and on-the-nose scripting.” Kate Erbland, IndieWire
“The film is gratifyingly on point with its gender politics and styled to perfection, with Caroline Koener’s costumes offering a carousel of visual pleasures. But unlike Shelley’s famous monster, the disparate parts Al-Mansour has assembled here do not move as one.” Sophie Monks Kaufman, Little White Lies
“It’s a shame that this rather dreary and excessively talky account underplays its primary draw: Finding a fresh way to show how the original goth girl modernized the myth of a mad scientist who dares to play God. Not even a jolt of electricity could spark this overlong timeline of events in its subject’s life that are ticked off like items on a to-do list.” Susan Wloszczyna, RogerEbert.com
“Impressively shot and suffused with a righteous feminist fire, the film is undercut by a confused and clunky script and a fundamental lack of thematic focus, turning an extraordinary story into didactic and disjointed melodrama.” Andrew Barker, Variety
Cast and characters:
- Elle Fanning as Mary Shelley
- Douglas Booth as Percy Bysshe Shelley
- Bel Powley as Claire Clairmont
- Ben Hardy as John William Polidori
- Tom Sturridge as Lord Byron
- Maisie Williams as Isabel Baxter
- Stephen Dillane as William Godwin
- Joanne Froggatt as Mary Jane Clairmont
Principal photography began on February 20, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. On March 7, the production moved to Luxembourg.
The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on September 9, 2017. The film will have its North American premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 28, 2018.
Mary Shelley is scheduled to be released in the United States on May 25, 2018, and in the United Kingdom on July 6, 2018.
Originally titled A Storm in the Stars
Related: Gothic (1986)