More than a day after Stewart Stewart and I (Dena Stewart) saw “Mary Queen of Scots” we were still talking about it. Mainly about Royal politics and the issues Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I of England had to deal with.
The movie opens with Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, going to the chopping block to be beheaded after being imprisoned for nineteen years by her cousin, Elizabeth Tudor, Queen of England.
The movie then goes into the back story and what led to her execution by effectively showing Sixteenth Century misogyny, sexuality, rivalry, competitiveness, jealousy, women’s empowerment, sense of entitlement, and dysfunctional family connections.
However, the epic cast of characters and their role in “history” confused me (and Stewart). I had to read up on the background of Mary and Elizabeth to fully grasp their personal relationship (first cousins who grew up apart, both in line to Rule).
While the personalities of the two very strong-willed women were superbly acted by Saoirse Ronan as Mary Queen of Scotland, and Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth I (Queen of England and Ireland), what wasn’t made clear (to me) was the Political – Religious conflicts involved.
The scenery was magnificent, the Palace décor was artfully decadent, the costumes, hair and makeup were award-winning quality, and certain scenes (sex and violence) were very memorable.
We give Mary Queen of Scots
Directed by Josie Rourke
Screenplay by Beau Willmon
Based on Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart by John Guy
Saoirse Ronan as Mary, Queen of Scots
Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots’ cousin and Queen of England and Ireland
Jack Lowden as Lord Darnley, Mary, Queen of Scots’ second husband
Joe Alwyn as Robert Dudley, Queen Elizabeth’s counselor and lover
David Tennant as John Knox, a Protestant cleric
Guy Pearce as William Cecil, advisor to Queen Elizabeth
Gemma Chan as Elizabeth Hardwick, a friend and confidante of Elizabeth I and keeper of Mary, Queen of Scots
Martin Compston as Earl of Bothwell, Mary, Queen of Scots’ third husband
Ismael Cruz Córdova as David Rizzio, Mary’s close friend and confidant.
Brendan Coyle as Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox, father of Lord Darnley
Ian Hart as Lord Maitland
James McArdle as the Earl of Moray, Regent of Scotland
Maria-Victoria Dragus as Mary Fleming, a Scottish noblewoman, childhood friend and half-first cousin of Mary, Queen of Scots
Eileen O’Higgins as Mary Beaton, attendant of Mary, Queen of Scots
Alex Beckett as Walter Mildmay, English Chancellor of the Exchequer
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