ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – S – Mary Queen of Scots (2018) Movie Review

Director: Josie Rourke

Writer: Beau Willimon (Screenplay) John Guy (Book)

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Jack Lowden, Joe Alwyn, David Tennant, Guy Pearce, Gemma Chan, Ismael Cruz Cordova

Plot: Mary Stuart’s attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England, finds her condemned to years of imprisonment before facing execution.


Tagline – Born to Power

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Beautifully Shot

Story: Mary Queen of Scots starts as Queen Mary (Ronan) returns to Scotland a widow, her presence in Britain as put Queen Elizabeth (Robbie) position of Queen of England under pressure, as Mary has a rightful claim to the throne.

Mary does want to create peace, asking for one simply thing, to be the heir to the throne, while Elizabeth isn’t willing to accept this demand unless Mary marries an English nobleman, with her choice being Robert Dudley (Alwyn), while Mary falls for Henry Darnley (Lowden). As the tensions between the two queens rises, a potential war starts brewing for control of Britain.

Thoughts on Mary Queen of Scots

Characters – Queen Mary has returned from France after the death of her husband, she takes her place as Queen of Scotland looking to rebuild a nation, she wants to keep the peace between the two nations with her sister Queen Elizabeth, she wants to put her own place as heir on the line, believing she will get the chance if Elizabeth doesn’t have children. She has her own marriage with an English man, the one not selected for her and is always finding herself controlled by the actions of men, despite wanting to find her position of power. Queen Elizabeth is worried that Mary will put them into a war, she wants to stop the threat sooner, though her demands are simply, marry an English noble man and the two can live in harmony. We do know Elizabeth tendencies from history, though we also see how she is being controlled by the men around her, just like Mary. When it comes to the men we meet, we see countless noble men that are trying to put their own name of power into position so they could one day control their country, none of them want what is best for either Queen.

PerformancesSaoirse Ronan is incredible in the leading role showing that she is a major talent in the industry who can step into any role, while Margot Robbie shines in the supporting role, never looking out of place in her role in the film. Everyone else is strong through the film, letting both the two leading ladies shine the most.

StoryThe story here follows Mary Queen of Scots who returned to Scotland looking to unite the two countries with her sister Queen Elizabeth ruling England, while the people around them, always try to stop the two working things out. This is a story based on history, it shows how leaders will try to create peace, only for people around them never wanting to let this happen, it showed how Queen might have power, but they didn’t have control however much they tried to get their ideas through. It shows how in a by gone age, people would look down on a woman in power, believing they had duties to produce babies and heirs rather than actually rule the land. We do focus more on the struggle of Queen Mary and how she tried to always do the right thing and the downs that came her way.

BiopicThe biopic side of this film plays into the history of the two Queen of Britain who both tried to do the right thing to help bring people together and never were given the control.

SettingsThe settings look beautiful for each shot, with the sets look stunning, while the outdoor locations are breath taking.


Scene of the Movie – The meeting between the two.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We could have seen more from the Elizabeth side of the story.

Final Thoughts This is a beautifully shot movie that tells a huge moment in history that showed that the women in power never got the power they were meant to have.

Overall: Important Historical Drama.

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