Mary Stuart returns to Scotland after the death of her French husband and has her sights set on the English throne. Trying to strike a deal with her cousin Elizabeth I as both women struggle to keep hold of their power.
I have been trying to figure out the best place to start with this review. I guess I need to clarify how much I loved history and in particular the Tudor era and anything to do with that. So I still enjoy that now when it comes to films. But for this film to be so factually incorrect I feel it does disservice to that era. Changing things just so it is more shocking and makes for a better film. Not forgetting the obvious being that it is total Oscar bait! (Not that it actually worked though, now we have the nominations.)
The fact it uses a couple of very cringeworthy and awful sex scenes to claim they were the reason for history is actually appalling! Not forgetting the gay twist, which after many searches and reading articles I have found nothing that mentions that. Then the films big climax of a meeting that never actually happened? I just feel cheated that a film claiming to be history couldn’t be any further away from that. Yes, I know things are changed in films to help the story flow a lot better but I actually believe The Favourite contained more fact than this film and that was done in such a jestful way!
It should have been exciting and getting you on edge but instead it is dull and boring from start to finish, with many pointless scenes riding horses. Why didn’t they really get stuck into the history between England and Scotland as it only seemed to be touched upon rather briefly and more focus was on if they would marry and have children to then carry on the throne. So much for two extremely strong female characters when you strip it back they were both rather weak which made it even more disappointing.
Performance wise I guess my growing respect for Saoirse Ronan continues, but this isn’t anywhere near her best work. I am also still struggling to understand the obsession around Margot Robbie and while she was ok as Elizabeth it was still nothing special and I am surprised that she has been rewarded with award nominations for this role. I actually liked David Tennant in his small role, I felt he was a scene stealer as his character actually had a voice and wanted to make changes for the better for Scotland.
So overall a poor film when it could have really delved deeply into the differences between Scotland and England mainly due to religious beliefs but that was only scratched on the surface and we were left with made up stories and fairy-tale of what someone would have liked to happen. Let’s have more facts and realism in this type of film as it really does make it so much more interesting!