Mary Shelley (2018) - Rotten Tomatoes

Mary Shelley (2018)


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Critic Consensus: Mary Shelley smooths out its subject's fascinating life and fails to communicate the spark of her classic work, undermining fine period detail and a solid Elle Fanning performance.

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MARY SHELLEY tells the story of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (Elle Fanning) - author of one of the world's most famous Gothic novels 'Frankenstein' - and her fiery, tempestuous relationship with renowned romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (Douglas Booth.) The pair are two outsiders constrained by polite society but bound together by a natural chemistry and progressive ideas that are beyond the boundaries of their age and time. Mary and Percy declare their love for each other and much to her family's horror they run away together, joined by Mary's half-sister Claire (Bel Powley.) In the midst of growing tension within their relationship during their stay at Lord Byron's (Tom Sturridge) house at Lake Geneva, the idea of Frankenstein is conceived when a challenge is put to all houseguests to write a ghost story. An incredible character is created, which will loom large in popular culture for centuries to come, but society at the time puts little value in female authors. At the tender age of 18, Mary is forced to challenge these preconceptions, to protect her work and to forge her own identity..


Elle Fanning
as Mary Shelley
Douglas Booth
as Percy Bysshe Shelley
Joanne Froggatt
as Mary Jane Clairmont
Maisie Williams
as Isabel Baxter
Stephen Dillane
as William Godwin
Bel Powley
as Claire Clairmont

Critic Reviews for Mary Shelley

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (7)

A long way from the finesse-and the feminist vigor-that the director, Haifaa Al-Mansour, displayed in her début feature, "Wadjda" (2012).

May 21, 2018 | Full Review…

It boggles the mind that anyone would try to make something mannered from her wild, sad, huge life...a dismal book report that the author herself would have declared fusty.

April 20, 2018 | Full Review…

A welcome showcase for the considerable talents of Elle Fanning, who deftly shades the trials and tribulations of the young writer and her complicated relationship with Percy Shelley

April 19, 2018 | Full Review…

For a film that chronicles the rise of a creator obsessed with reanimating the dead, "Mary Shelley" is utterly lifeless.

September 15, 2017 | Rating: C | Full Review…

It's somewhat amusing - especially Tom Sturridge, who turns Lord Byron into poetry's version of Jack Sparrow - but immediately forgettable.

September 11, 2017 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

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.

September 10, 2017 | Full Review…

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