Mary Queen of Scots
Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary Stuart defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. However, Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth I. Each young Queen beholds her sister in fear and fascination. Rivals in power and in love, and female regents in a masculine world, the two must decide how to play the game of marriage versus independence.
What keeps the film from feeling like period-piece amber, all whispered alliances and wiggery, is the keenly feminist sensibility of first-time director Josie Rourke (her background is largely in theater) and the fierce charisma and complicated humanity of its two leads, sovereigns till the end.
A history lesson with more fire in the belly than most. It turns out that a feminist angle really can revive the same old Tudor psychodramas, thanks in large part to Ronan and Robbie’s authoritative performance.