A Storm in the Stars
Directed by: Haifaa Al-Mansour
Written by: onor McPherson, Emma Jensen
Starring: Elle Fanning, Douglas Booth, Bel Powley, Tom Sturridge
Release Date: 2016
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Mary (Elle Fanning) is a rebellious and outspoken teenager. When she meets the poet Percy Shelley (Douglas Booth), there’s a spark of attraction between the two outsiders who feel trapped within polite society. Percy is contrary and selfish, talking of sexual freedom and progressive ideas that are beyond the boundaries of their age. For sheltered Mary, it’s love at first sight. When Mary’s family discover that Percy is married with a child, they forbid any further contact. Mary and Percy elope, taking Mary’s half-sister Claire (Bel Powley) along for the ride. It’s a scandal, and with Percy’s philandering ways, rumours of a ménage à trois are whispered everywhere they go. Claire willfully flirts her way into Lord Byron (Tom Sturridge)’s affections and Mary is relieved when they are asked to join the decadent poet at his house in Lake Geneva. It’s a chance to escape the gossip-mongering and restrictions of England. During one stormy summer night, to distract Mary from Percy’s infidelities, Lord Byron suggests they all write a ghost story. All the pain and guilt that Mary feels about Percy, Claire and the child she lost, is poured into giving birth to Frankenstein’s Monster. The story is incredible, a classic that even Percy must acknowledge. But women don’t write books, and publishers certainly won’t print them. The rebel rises, and Mary fights for her creature and her identity, all at the age of eighteen.