Mary Queen of Scots – Film review


MARY Queen of Scots is a drab and rather ham-fisted affair.

A long and tedious retelling of the turbulent life of Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan), minus much of the turbulence, this is neither an enlightening or passionate exploration of the young Scottish Queen’s claim to the throne.


Based on the book by Dr John Guy, ‘Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart’, it is a cold and humourless portrayal of the life of this forthright, confident and astute monarch. Josie Rourke’s movie is a huge letdown and feels like something from a monotonous school history lesson.

The cameras may love Irish darling Saoirse Ronan with her clear piercing blue eyes but she looks like a panicky doe in the headlights for much of this. Not her finest performance, and that’s for sure.

Margot Robbie, an equally fine actress, plays Stuart’s rival Elizabeth I. Sadly, she isn’t given much to do here, rather than looking like the long lost cousin of Krusty the Clown for much of the film.

For a story than contains so much juicy acts of betrayal, rebellion and conspiracy within each of the two Queens courts, there is more watchable drama and catfights to be found down the Queen Vic of an evening.

Off with their heads! This is a real royal shambles!