'Mary Shelley' Is Less Than The Sum Of Its Parts

Elle Fanning stars in this uneven, "perfumed account" of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin's romance with poet Percy Shelley, and the fateful weekend that birthed her novel Frankenstein.
Elle Fanning plays Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (nee Godwin), the author of Frankenstein, in Mary Shelley. Source: IFC Films

Nearly all moviegoers know the plot of Frankenstein; or, The Modern, which Mary Shelley precociously wrote at 18. Many of them are also familiar with the novel's backstory, dramatized in such films as and : Mary was challenged to write a ghost story in competition with no less than Lord Byron and her future husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from NPR

NPR6 min readSociety
It's Not Just Insulin: Diabetes Patients Struggle To Get Crucial Supplies
Type 1 diabetes can be well managed with insulin if blood sugar is consistently monitored. But insurance rules can make it hard for patients to get the medical supplies their doctors say they need.
NPR3 min readHappiness
In 'Savage Gods,' An Author Finds That Pondering Being Leads To An Inability To Write
Paul Kingsnorth moved to a small farm in Ireland to be closer to the land and to reconnect with the essence of being. Instead of contentment, he found that it was tough to find meaning in writing.
NPR3 min read
Banjo Player, Folklorist, Photographer and Filmmaker John Cohen Has Died
A member of the New Lost City Ramblers, Cohen celebrated American roots culture in many mediums, including his celebrated photography. He died Monday at age 87.