MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS REVIEW
It’s Awards Season, and that means a bunch of Oscar-Bait films are set to be released in the next few weeks. ‘Mary Queen of Scots’, starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, is not an exception. Set in 16th Century England/Scotland, Mary Stuart (Ronan), cousin to Queen Elizabeth I (Robbie), finds herself condemned to years of imprisonment after her plans to overthrow her cousin go awry. There is no denying that the performances are great in this film, but there is just not enough substance plot or script-wise to warrant the overly long run-time (124mins). Like I said, the best part of this film are the performances across the board. Margot Robbie is the stand out and manages to flesh her under-written character out in a surprisingly limited number of scenes. Saoirse Ronan also gives a subtle yet bold performance, though it wasn’t as good as some of her previous work. Joe Alwyn, David Tennant, Guy Pearce and Luke Hobson are also good in small roles, but they are just props for the 2 lead actresses to play with.
Josie Rourke’s inexperience as a director really shines through in this film, mainly in her failure to negate a few pacing errors that simply should not have been a problem in the first place. Beau Willimon’s script, while having some great parts, also could have used some refining. As well as that, I would have liked to see something innovative and different; not just a typical period drama. ‘The Favourite’ has set a whole new stand for ‘period’ films, and sadly, ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ just doesn’t hold up.
The Costume and Production Design are amazing, though, and should definitely receive attention come Oscars time, and the cinematography is also something to be admired. ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ works on a technical level, but once you start looking further, there really isn’t much else to it.
DO I RECOMMEND IT? Only if you like Period Dramas. If you find yourself easily bored by scenes consisting of nothing but dialogue, this is definitely not the film for you. I’m pretty mixed on this one, so I’ll be interested to see what other people think of it.