Josie Rourke brought John Guy’s book to life. His book, Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart, tells the story of the relationship between Mary, Queen of Scots, and her sister, Elizabeth I.
Rourke took the source material and jogged with it. The saying goes, “took [insert thing here] and ran with it”, but the movie took few creative liberties, if it took any at all.
Soirse Ronan as Mary, Queen of Scots, and Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I, were amazing. Ronan definitely gets more screen time though. The movie is split between the courts of the two queens, but Mary isn’t afraid to get down and dirty with her army and subjects. Elizabeth I just sat back and let her henchmen and counsel do the all dirty work.
The costumes and sets were great as well, and there was lots of riding. Let’s just say Soirse Ronan on horseback isn’t hard on the eyes at all.
The movie itself is a frame story, beginning and ending with Mary, Queen of Scots’s head on the chopping block during her execution. And while the movie is satisfying, the audience probably needs to have base knowledge of the history going into it. The explanations at the beginning and end of the movie don’t really cut it. People are still trying to read them when they disappear.