Even with such a partner as Kate Winslet, whose acting has always been free of any obstacles to daring and sometimes sexually explicit roles, Saoirse Ronan isn't inferior to her in the slightest. Having dozens of film works under her belt, in Ammonite Ronan makes a personal and courageous breakthrough as the appearance in the very first nude scene of her stage career. By and large, Charlotte's personality evolves from an arrogant baroness moping around to despairingly enamored lass who runs to extremes of asking her beloved one to live together, even given Charlotte's actual marriage to Roderick.
As a screenwriter, Lee incorporates a seemingly minuscule, but noteworthy (and, perhaps, praiseworthy) detail that momentarily catches the eye — abnormally small amount of conversations, at least diffuse ones. Indeed, what's the use of talking for two women from completely different worlds who involuntarily found in each other salvage from internal loneliness? This irrelevance is supplemented by the visual palette of Ammonite which utterly defines the local inhabitants — living in gloomy and gray landscapes of Lyme Regis, as stiff as their domicile, these people are not used to verbosity.
Even after the story comes to its end, Lee leaves some questions unanswered. What was the tragedy that Charlotte was taking so hard? The phrase "It's not the right time to make another baby" thrown by Roderick to his wife prompts a thought about something ghastly that's happened to the couple's child whether they're still alive or not, which, most likely, caused such a malady and chilled their relationships, but it's never mentioned neither by Charlotte, nor by her husband. Albeit Francis Lee considered significant not the reason but the grief itself, such an innuendo creates a specific aura of an unsolved mystery.