Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie star as Mary and Elizabeth respectively, the granddaughters of Henry VII who shared a claim to the English throne. Both Queens defied pressure to marry whilst determinedly navigating their unprecedented roles as female monarchs in a male world.
The film is centred around eighteen-year old Mary Stuart, by now the widowed Queen of France, as she returns to her native Scotland to assert her to rightful claim to the Scottish throne and to challenge Elizabeth’s right to the English throne. Enraged, Elizabeth has her Catholic cousin imprisoned for eighteen years before finally ordering her execution in 1587.
Margot Robbie stars as Queen Elizabeth I in Mary Queen of Scots
Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) assumes a characteristically feisty role as Mary, and there are already whispers that her portrayal of the young warrior queen could bring about a fourth Oscar nomination. Meanwhile Australian actress Margot Robbie (I, Tonya) is virtually unrecognisable as the ageing ‘Virgin Queen’. In playing Elizabeth, Robbie follows in the footsteps of many Hollywood greats including Glenda Jackson, Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench.
The release of a dramatic trailer earlier this year provoked backlash from historians who object to the portrayal of a face-to-face confrontation between Mary and Elizabeth – when in fact they only ever communicated by letter. Ronan’s Scottish accent has also been called into question, given that Mary grew up in France.
Historical inaccuracies aside, Mary Queen of Scots promises to be a highly-charged tribute to two of the most remarkable women in British History (complete with opulent sixteenth century costumes) and joins the growing list of upcoming blockbusters with formidable female protagonists.
|What||Everything you need to know about Mary Queen of Scots|
18 Jan 19 – 18 Jan 20, TIMES VARY
|Price||£determined by cinemas|
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