Of the two movies I watched this weekend, one would think that this would be the empowering towards women one. Instead, it shows you that history may have been very different for these two women had they not let the men around them keep them from talking directly with each other. Mary Stuart, played by the brilliant-next-Meryl-Streep-in-the-making Saoirse Ronan, returns home to Scotland following the death of her husband (for a LOOSELY based version of that love story – see the CW’s Reign) and takes up her throne. Her older cousin, Elizabeth, played by the also brilliant and gorgeous-but-doesn’t-mind-getting-ugly-for-the-part Margot Robbie, is threatened by Mary’s potential claim to her throne. Throw in a clash of religion … well, different versions of the same religion and David Tennant – brilliant in everything – as John Knox and you got yourself a big chess game with the two queens as everyone’s only chess pieces. The scenes are heavy and dark with political and religious speeches. One hopes for a good turn but there is no happy ending here – we all took history – but Elizabeth did name Mary’s son heir to her throne and we all got more Shakespeare and a Bible translation out of it so there’s that! Both women deserved every best actress nomination they received but I am looking forward to Saoirse in the lighter Little Women and Margot having fun (and looking cute) in the next Suicide Squad film!
The Council decrees: Stream it if you are feeling in the mood for a heavy, artsy film.