British film and TV dramas have gone mad for coastal locations following the success of UK detective series Broadchurch, set in a seaside community torn apart by the murder of a child. We’re not talking Scotland, Wales or the English north here. These stories are always set on the southern English coast, usually with cliffs or other prominent landforms doing metaphorical duty. Witness, Hope Gap, On Chesil Beachand now Summerlandand Ammonite, both released in January.

Kate Winslet in Ammonite Kate Winslet in Ammonite

Ammonitestars Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan as Mary Anning and Charlotte Murchison, two women slowly discovering a mutual attraction as they scour the beach for ammonites and other fossils on the Dorset coast near the town of Lyme Regis in the 1840s.

Mary (inspired by a real-life character) is a dedicated fossil-collector who lives off the earnings she makes from the geological shop she runs with her icicle-eyed mother (Gemma Jones). Charlotte is a visitor, unhappily married to a wealthy gentleman who appears more interested in acquiring Mary’s paleontological knowledge than in his clearly depressed wife. When Charlotte falls...

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