'Mary Queen of Scots' [Blu-ray+Digital)
(Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Jack Lowden, Joe Alwyn, David Tennant, et al / Blu ray + Digital / R / 2019 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: 'Mary Queen of Scots' explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart (Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan). Queen of France at 16, widowed at 18, Mary defies pressure to remarry and instead returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne.
Blu-ray Verdict: In truth, if you like costume dramas but abhor their sometime surface charms, watch 'Mary Queen of Scots' - a down and dirty and brilliant costumer about 16th-century's Queen Mary Stuart's (Saoirse Ronan) rise and fall.
Cousin to Queen Elizabeth, the two have an uneasy alliance against men who want to depose them and the times that wish to marginalize them but can't.
If for only helping to clarify the succession, from Henry VIII to James, the first king of England and Scotland, this docudrama is worth seeing.
Of course, history is not the main reason to spend 2 hours mucking around gloomy castles. It's the people! Besides the superb portrayals of the two queens by Ronan and Margot Robbie as Elizabeth, a barrage of authentic looking and acting Earls and Knights gossip and plot enough to challenge the audience about allegiances.
In other words, the audience is immersed in the workings of English and Scottish monarchies and religion to a degree rarely seen on the screen.
Because of this authenticity, the audience cares about the players while it gets a first-rate history lesson. When Mary gets her head chopped off, she keeps her dignity and the audience, mindful of Marie Antoinette's end, is saddened, but accepting of monarchs' cruel fates, then and now.
"In my end is my beginning," she embroidered on her estate cloth, perhaps sensing well that her son, James, would one day rule. Tough lady. Great mother. Exemplary acting.
"How much better everything would be, if the two queens were indeed friends! For I see now that the world is not that that we do make of it, nor yet are they most happy that continue longest in it." (Mary to Randolph after death of two Guise relatives).
As for those things that many (oh so many, sadly) others have nitpicked and pulled apart, for me, the major events were pretty accurate - according to history and the events that people are complaining about were rumored to have happened.
Like most parts of private lives of historical figures, there's always some grey area. It just depends on if the story is crafted based on official history or based on rumor at the time. This movie draws from both and so, ultimately, shouldn't offend the masses as much as it seemingly already has! This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via 1080p and comes with the Special Features of:
An Epic Confrontation
Something About Marys
Feature Commentary with Director Josie Rourke and Composer Max Richter