mary queen of scots

DIRECTOR: Josie Rourke (debut)
STARRING: saoirse ronan, margot robbie, jack lowden, and joe alwyn

 

REVIEWER: emily carter

★★★

Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary Stuart defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. However, Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth I. Each young Queen beholds her sister in fear and fascination. Rivals in power and in love, and female regents in a masculine world, the two must decide how to play the game of marriage versus independence.

Two women on the throne play a tumultuous game of tug o' war between being married and/or a monarch in Mary Queen of Scots. But can a 16th century story really stand up on the silver screen today?

 

To say I was excitedly expectant for this film is an understatement. Saorise Ronan has never put a foot wrong in her film career and Margot Robbie will always be a star of any movie she puts her name to - and Mary Queen of Scots puts both talented women in the spotlight. Seeing them share the screen (albeit not necessarily at the same time) was a real treat. At times fierce, at others forlorn, they were both queens to be reckoned with.

 

Mary (Ronan) returns to Scotland and her throne after being widowed at 18 while her cousin, Elizabeth I (Robbie) sits on the throne as the Queen of England. We're tossed to and fro as the pair bond as sisters, both bearing the immense load of being monarchs; as well as the threatening push of Mary aiming to be the one queen over the island. Both are advised to marry and it is Mary who first obliges. Surrounded by men advising their every move, Mary Queen of Scots undeniably puts a spotlight on the power of women as leaders. With feminism on the minds of many at the moment, this movie is sure to keep that discussion roaring.

 

While called, Mary Queen of Scots, I found Elizabeth (Robbie) stole the show. Her decisions were monumental and sacrificial, and Robbie's transformation was immense. 

 

The film's only downfall was some areas of "sag" in the plot that made you really feel every second of its 2 hours and 4 minutes. 

 

Visually stunning and historically intriguing, Mary Queen of Scots is a lengthy tale that could use trimming, but it's two female leads are just unmissable!

★★★

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Mary Queen of Scots is available on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital from all good disc and digital retailers. 

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