“Frankenstein” author Mary Shelley’s life was one filled with extremes, from the early death of her beloved mother to a free-wheeling childhood and education care of her political philosopher dad, to her life-changing romance with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley that partially took place on her mother’s grave and her complicated and complex relationship with just about everyone in her life. She was a political radical and an outspoken advocate for social change during a time when that wasn’t exaclt the sort of thing “nice young ladies did.” Oh, and she also wrote “Frankenstein.”
Shelley still cuts a wild figure in the history of literary masterworks and progressive politics, so it’s no surprise she’s inspired scores of on-screen portrayals, though few look to be as compelling as Haifaa Al-Mansour’s upcoming “Mary Shelley.” The new biopic mostly focuses on her teenage years, when the then-Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin first met and fell passionately in love with Shelley (Douglas Booth). To say the pair’s romance was fraught is a major understatement — again, they romanced each other on her mother’s grave — and the new film chronicles their story in woozy, dreamy tones.
The film features a stellar supporting cast of both established and rising stars, including Bel Powley, Tom Sturridge, Jack Hickey, Joanna Froggatt, Ben Hardy, and Stephen Dillane.
“Mary Shelley” had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and will screen at the Tribeca Film Festival later this month. IFC Films will release the film in theaters on May 25 and on VOD on June 1. Check out the first trailer for “Mary Shelley” above.