Mary Queen of Scots
Director: Josie Rourke
2018, 112 mins, Digital, R
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Jack Lowden, Joe Alwyn, David Tennant, Guy Pearce
Distributor: Focus Features
Friday, December 21 after the 7:45 pm screening
Associate Director, Center for Literary & Comparative Studies
University of Maryland
Karen Nelson is Associate Director for the Center for Literary & Comparative Studies. Nelson also serves as Associate Editor for Literature, Art History, and Women’s Studies for the Sixteenth Century Journal.
“Mary Queen of Scots” explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan). Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. But Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie). 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. Determined to rule as much more than a figurehead, Mary asserts her claim to the English throne, threatening Elizabeth’s sovereignty. Betrayal, rebellion, and conspiracies within each court imperil both thrones – and change the course of history.
“Mary Queen of Scots does make a powerfully moving case for an uneasy dance between two powerful women hamstrung by male politics.” – Ella Taylor, NPR