Biography Drama

'Mary Shelley' TIFF 2017 Review: Portrait of a true wonder woman

September 9, 2017Ben Mk



   
This summer, director Patty Jenkins gave moviegoers a perfect example of how a woman can outshine her male counterparts. With Mary Shelley, however, director Haifaa Al Mansour reminds audiences that the struggle for equality has been ongoing for centuries.

Starring Elle Fanning in the title role, Mary Shelley paints a stirring portrait of the then-16-year-old author, focusing especially on her tumultuous relationship with 21-year-old poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (Douglas Booth). Over the course of the next two years, Mary would find her life dramatically changed, experiencing immeasurable love, loss, joy and heartache, all of which would culminate in her putting pen to paper and writing one of the most iconic stories of our time: "Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus."

The film also stars a cadre of British acting talent — including Bel Powley, Tom Sturridge and Maisie Williams — but it's Fanning who unequivocally carries the movie's emotional story on her statuesque shoulders. Her 19th-century London accent is spot-on, but her portrayal of a trailblazing woman ahead of her time even more so.

Mary Shelley is receiving its world premiere as part of TIFF 2017's Gala Presentations programme. Its runtime is 2 hrs. 0 min.




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