Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley

Elle Fanning and Douglas Booth star in this period drama following young author Mary Shelley as she's inspired to write iconic novel Frankenstein.

Mary Shelley, her step sister, and the poet Percy Shelley leave London to travel, drink, and shag their way around Europe, with the trio ending up at Lord Byron's Swiss holiday mansion. There, the reading of ghost stories turns into a challenge for the group to each write one themselves... 

2017Rating: PG, Coarse language & sex scenes120 minsUSA, UK, Luxembourg
DramaTrue Story & BiographyHistorical
80%
want to see

Streaming (3 Providers)

Reviews & comments

Flicks, Sarah Voon

Flicks, Sarah Voon

flicks

Elle Fanning plays titular character Mary Shelley, who at a mere eighteen years of age anonymously penned the now iconic horror novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. The story of the book’s inception is a fascinating one and director Haifaa Al-Mansour and writer Emma Jensen have tackled a story that should be a celebration of a young woman’s talent and tenacity overcoming the odds, in a time when both these things were discouraged for the ladies. Somehow though, the anarchist spirit and rebellious journey she takes are never fully realised and it plays out rather as a soapy TV drama might, with many of the historical details fudged and some of the more scintillating nuggets transpiring in a series of unsatisfactory reveals.

3.0
Flicks, Luke Buckmaster

Flicks, Luke Buckmaster

flicks

In their biopic of the great Mary Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein when she was just 18 years old, director Haifaa Al-Mansour and screenwriter Emma Jensen argue that the author penned her seminal novel in response to mistreatment experienced at the hands of men. Accepting the film’s hypothesis, the question it then tries to pose becomes: should we condemn these brutal blokes for their inhumanity, or feel in some way grateful that they inspired art?

Vulture

Vulture

press

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.

Variety

Variety

press

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.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

A reminder that England in the early 19th century remains a rich repository of stories and characters, and era that can be made to feel charmingly quaint and bracingly modern, on both the page and the screen.

The Guardian

The Guardian

press

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.

3.0
Screen Daily

Screen Daily

press

An intelligent balance between romantic drama and literary biography that could hold a solid appeal for upscale arthouse audiences.

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

Celebrates Mary Shelley for the trailblazing woman that she is, but hews far too close to convention to truly represent her life.

Little White Lies

Little White Lies

press

Elle Fanning's central performance adds needed weight, but all around her the tone is bizarre and the performances hammy.

Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

A passionate film about a woman's ideas.

Flicks, Sarah Voon

Flicks, Sarah Voon

flicks

Elle Fanning plays titular character Mary Shelley, who at a mere eighteen years of age anonymously penned the now iconic horror novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. The story of the book’s inception is a fascinating one and director Haifaa Al-Mansour and writer Emma Jensen have tackled a story that should be a celebration of a young woman’s talent and tenacity overcoming the odds, in a time when both these things were discouraged for the ladies. Somehow though, the anarchist spirit and rebellious journey she takes are never fully realised and it plays out rather as a soapy TV drama might, with many of the historical details fudged and some of the more scintillating nuggets transpiring in a series of unsatisfactory reveals.

3.0
Flicks, Luke Buckmaster

Flicks, Luke Buckmaster

flicks

In their biopic of the great Mary Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein when she was just 18 years old, director Haifaa Al-Mansour and screenwriter Emma Jensen argue that the author penned her seminal novel in response to mistreatment experienced at the hands of men. Accepting the film’s hypothesis, the question it then tries to pose becomes: should we condemn these brutal blokes for their inhumanity, or feel in some way grateful that they inspired art?

Vulture

Vulture

press

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.

Variety

Variety

press

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.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

A reminder that England in the early 19th century remains a rich repository of stories and characters, and era that can be made to feel charmingly quaint and bracingly modern, on both the page and the screen.

The Guardian

The Guardian

press

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.

3.0
Screen Daily

Screen Daily

press

An intelligent balance between romantic drama and literary biography that could hold a solid appeal for upscale arthouse audiences.

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

Celebrates Mary Shelley for the trailblazing woman that she is, but hews far too close to convention to truly represent her life.

Little White Lies

Little White Lies

press

Elle Fanning's central performance adds needed weight, but all around her the tone is bizarre and the performances hammy.

Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

A passionate film about a woman's ideas.