Okay, for the love of Christ, please tell me that I’m not the only one who’s looking at either of the leading actresses and getting a huge Queen of Hearts vibe from Tim Burton’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND. I mean…
This would somehow make ALICE IN WONDERLAND’s pointless politics almost too much sense. Alice never went to Wonderland, she went to Scotland, and she was just on shrooms or something. I don’t know, someone come up with a better joke. It’s 1:00 am right now.
The story looks like it’s about a queen’s cousin coming home to try and reclaim the throne for herself and end up starting a war.
Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Saoirse Ronan (THE SEAGULL , LADY BIRD , BROOKLYN , and the upcoming LITTLE WOMEN ) and Margot Robbie (PETER RABBIT , GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN , LEGEND OF TARZAN , BIG SHORT , and upcoming films THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART  and ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD ).
In support, we have Guy Pearce (ALIEN: COVENANT , EQUALS , IRON MAN 3 , and the upcoming DOMINO ), Joe Alwyn (THE FAVOURITE , SENSE OF AN ENDING , BILLY LYNN , and the upcoming HARRIET ), Gemma Chan (LONDON FIELDS , TRANSFORMERS 5 , FANTASTIC BEASTS , and the upcoming CAPTAIN MARVEL ), Ben Wiggins (ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE ), and Ian Hart (HARRY POTTER: SORCERER’S STONE ).
Now for the crew. Directing, we have Josie Rourke, making her directorial debut. Congrats, miss. Penning the screenplay is Beau Willimon, known for stuff that I’ve either never seen or heard of. Composing the score is Max Richter, known for WHITE BOY RICK (2018), HOSTILES (2017), and MISS SLOANE (2016). The cinematographer is John Mathieson, known for LOGAN (2017), THE MAN FROM UNCLE (2015), X-MEN: FIRST CLASS (2011), and the upcoming POKÉMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU (2019). Finally, the editor is Chris Dickens, known for SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (2008) and HOT FUZZ (2007).
I’m not familiar with the actual history, so I have no idea what to expect in terms of historical accuracy. If I remember Wikipedia correctly, critics took issue with that. Well, the last time critics hated historical inaccuracies, it was for BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY and we all know how the general audiences feel about it. So maybe this’ll have a similar effect. In any case, I don’t know, I actually think this is going to be pretty good. So long as they keep the politics simple and focus more on the leading ladies, I think I’ll enjoy this movie fine.
This is my honest opinion of: MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS
Set in England, circa 1561. Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan) is the Queen of Scots, but has a strong claim to the throne in England, which is sat in by the recently ailing Queen Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie). While Mary doesn’t appear to seek to overthrow Elizabeth by force, she does wish to be appointed the successor to the throne. But political navigations demand that Mary must marry a man of England, which Mary doesn’t want to do, among many other demands and defiances, leading to revolt and underhanded tactics to gain control of the throne.
Um… by no means a bad movie, this is probably not my cup of tea. Way too much politics.
Okay, first thing’s first, I am a fairly solid fan of both Ronan and Robbie, so when I say that they are both great in their respective roles, I hope you believe that. Despite the numerous scenes involving talking about politics, which will never be my thing, they at least keep the momentum going and keep me interested in their plights. More than anything, I just wanted to feel connected to their struggles, and I’d like to think that their performances did that. Whether or not the movie is historically accurate, I felt for the characters. Both seemed to be complex women, bound by their sense of duty, their sense of entitlement, and their emotions in doing the right thing by their subjects and each other.
Yeah, heads up, Mary and Elizabeth don’t have their epic scene together until the final few scenes of the film. Actually, it’s only the one scene they share. To be fair, it’s an awesome scene. Perfectly directed and acted.
I think my favorite part of the movie is David Tennant. A scene literally opens up with him proclaiming that Mary is a servant of Satan in the only way that Tennant can deliver and make it both hilarious and legitimate.
However, it’s time to talk about my issues, as I’m pretty sure it’s no secret that I think this isn’t a great film.
Was it absolutely necessary to show the final scene of the movie in the beginning? I mean, history obviously tells us that this is a thing (I think; I didn’t pass history class), but… does a movie need to be so blatantly obvious with it? There’s barely anything that the opening does that’s different compared to the actual ending of the film. It’s closer to a “here’s a deleted or enhanced scene of the ending on the special features of the DVD” type of thing going on. The point I’m making is that the movie flows fine with the scenes going chronologically. Playing the ending before the movie begins is a pretty lame creative choice.
I know that movies like this are intended to be on the longer side because, you know, conspiracies and governmental overthrowing isn’t something done in a day, but this movie does feel pretty forgettable. Because I personally couldn’t always follow the politics, the hows and the whys for the choices these characters make, I’m surprised I was as invested as I was. With that said, I still didn’t completely care. For me to be fully invested in a movie, I have to easily follow it. I didn’t. So no matter how good both Ronan and Robbie are, they only served to prevent me from going to sleep rather than invested.
Overall, I can’t say that I disliked this film. However, because I didn’t truly care about the characters and their problems, I can’t ever say that I liked the movie either. Too much politics and talking, not enough stuff getting done in a way that made it at least seem exciting. As is, the movie is just… okay. So as a recommendation, viewer beware. I recommend it as a rental, but not really for the cinemas.
My honest rating for MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS: 3/5
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