Director: Josie Rourke
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Jack Lowden, Joe Alwyn, Gemma Chan, Martin Compston, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Brendan Coyle, Ian Hart, Adrian Lester, James McArdle, David Tennant, Guy Pearce
Running Time: 112
Australian Distributor: Universal Pictures Australia
A period drama with a hint of feminism, Mary Queen of Scots tells the tale of monarchs Mary, played by Saoirse Ronan, and her cousin Elizabeth I, played by Margot Robbie. The Queens who were fairly young when the story begins, are joined by blood and separated by religion. Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII, is Protestant while her cousin Mary, once married to the King of France, is Catholic.
Mary Stuart, newly widowed, returns to Scotland and defies pressure to remarry (you go girl). Seeking to reclaim her right to the throne, Mary threatens Elizabeths position and power. The film explores the power dynamics between the two frenemies - betrayal, rebellion, and conspiracies within each court putting both thrones at risk. Mary and Elizabeth find themselves surrounded by scheming men who are determined to undermine their power, conspire and manipulate them.
The standout of the film was the compelling performance by Saoirse Ronan, playing a Queen of wit and charisma with strong screen presence and Margot, portraying an intense character with surprising likability. Beautiful production design and costume perfectly recreates the 16th century courts of Mary at Holyrood and Elizabeth in London.
Leaving the cinema you can't help but wonder how accurate the history books really are and above all - if these two powerful woman had not been pitted against each other but in fact had collaborated and prevailed, how would it have changed the course of history.
A legitimate R rated film, probably leave the kiddies at home for this one.