Mary Stuart’s tale has been told a number of times over the years but it’s such an intriguing story that it’s not surprising it’s always being told: widowed at 16 and queen of Scotland at 18, with the rightful claim to the English throne with it, there are any number of angles to take about the time period.
Mary Queen of Scots takes the story of Mary Stuart and puts it through the lens of Mary (Saoirse Ronan) and Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie) as they rule their respective countries at the same time. Following Mary as she comes back to a country she doesn’t know as well as she should, we follow the two through Mary’s reign as Queen to her eventual execution. Throughout the years we see Mary and Elizabeth’s interactions through intermediaries and letters as both come to terms with the fact that the crown of England is in the balance the whole time.
There’s so much history to be mined and this is about as thimble deep as it gets. With amazing costumes, cinematography and makeup one would think this should be the next great period piece but it’s inert. There’s nothing beyond the sheer beauty of the film that allows us into something more than an abject history lesson about Mary Stuart.
It’s a shame because Ronan and Robbie are fantastic. They’re the glue that holds this film together; otherwise it’s just inert history, nothing more, and doesn’t do a whole lot to keep us entertained.
If you’re looking for a costume drama, track down The Favourite
A handful of EPK pieces populate an otherwise unremarkable 4k Blu-Ray.
Universal presents Mary Queen of Scots. Directed by Josie Rourke. Written by Beau Willimon based on the novel “Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart” by John Guy. Starring Saorise Ronan, Margot Robbie. Run Time: 125 minutes Rated R. Released on DVD: 2.19.19
Tags: Margot Robbie, Mary Queen of Scots, Saorise Ronan