By: Jessica Goddard
Mary Shelley is an appropriately dramatic and sentimental depiction of the early life of 19th century writer Mary Shelley (Elle Fanning), as well as a satisfying exploration of Shelley’s influences in writing her now-classic novel, Frankenstein. The film focuses heavily on the arc(s) of Mary’s relationship with her eventual husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley (Douglas Booth); always emphasizing the ways in which Mary’s famous Gothic novel is affected by the various traumas of her life.
Director Haifaa Al Mansour (Wadjda) has crafted a film that’s authentic in its admiration and respect for its subject, however Emma Jensen’s adequate script could’ve gone further and deeper. The cinematography is suitably moody, and the charismatic young cast is effectively melodramatic when necessary.
Mary Shelley is essential viewing for anyone with an interest in the Gothic genre, the creative process, or the literary figure herself.
Mary Shelley screens at TIFF on:
Sunday, September 10 at 1:30 p.m. @ Scotiabank Theatre
Tuesday, September 12 at 1:15 p.m. @ Scotiabank Theatre (press and industry)
Runtime: 120 minutes
For more information on the festival, visit the official TIFF webpage here.
Buy tickets here.
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