“Mary Queen of Scots”–movie review   2 comments

In 1933 in a play by Maxwell Anderson called “Mary of Scotland” he was first to imagine a meeting between Queen Elizabeth of England and Queen Mary that never took place. Three years later it was made into a movie starring Katherine Hepburn as Mary and Florence Eldridge as Elizabeth. In 1936 Bette Davis got an Oscar nomination playing Elizabeth in “The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex” and that is the Elizabeth I remember 82 years later. She would do the role again in “The Virgin Queen” 1955 and Mary is only mentioned in passing. Through the years, on television, theatre and other movies both Mary and Elizabeth have been portrayed by other actresses but these I have mentioned immediately came to mind hearing this movie was opening up this week.
As fine a job as Saoirse Ronan does playing the lead in this 2018 movie, which probably will get her a fourth nomination, she is sabatoged by the dark, slow pace getting to the major scene. Her acting partner, Margot Robbie as Elizabeth, is not written as powerful a woman as Mary which unbalences the whole movie.
Beau Willimon wrote the screenplay, basing it on the book “Queen of Scots: The True LIfe of Mary Stuart” by John Guy and one doesn’t know which is fact or fiction or ‘Hollywood’s based on a true story’ or who invented the sex lives of some of the characters.
The movie is the screen debut of London’s Donmar Warehouse theatre companies artistic director Josie Rourke which may or may not explain the darkness and drab setting of most of the movie. Also, whether it is me or the accents or the soundtrack I had a hard time understanding at least half of the spoken language.
There are many actors as supporting players in roles supporting both queens in both good and evil ways. A standout is James McArdle as Mary’s brother, Simael Cruz Cordova as a gay man who whose a close confident of Mary, Jack Lowden as her gay husband, Joe Alwyn as Elizabeth’s lover and David Tennent as John Knox, a Scottish minister.
The only reason to see “Mary Queen of Scots” is for the performance of Saoirse Ronan but if you ever want to see the definite performance of Elizabeth look up that 1936 Bette Davis movie!


Movie trailer

Mary Queen of Scots – Int’l Trailer 1 (Universal Pictures) HD

Mary Queen of Scots – Int’l Trailer 1 (Universal Pictures) HD

Director: Josie Rourke Writer: Beau Willimon Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Jack Lowden, Joe Alwyn, Gemma C…

2 responses to ““Mary Queen of Scots”–movie review

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  1. Sad that Hollywood never wants to get the history right.
    On the Elizabeth note, I just watched Anonymous last night with Vanessa Redgrave playing the queen. It purports the Earl of Oxford actually wrote everything Shakespeare took credit for.

  2. Good movie. Have you seen it?

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