Mary Queen Of Scots finally gets a trailer, and it looks damn good
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Two actresses at the height of their careers, Saorise Ronan (who recently wooed in coming of age flick Lady Bird) and Margot Robbie (just off I, Tonya), come together in the new film Mary Queen of Scots, as Mary and Elizabeth I respectively.
The trailer released shows us a glimpse of the powerhouse performances we have in store for us when it hits UK cinemas in January.
The story of Mary Stewart has never had a film truly do it justice, and her relationship with Elizabeth, though explored in the twin titled film Mary Queen of Scots from 1971 and terrible CW Reign, has still not been represented as it was in real life.
This trailer suggests that might change, with more nuanced portrayals of both Queens being exhibited. Mary Queen of Scots historically has been fit into the sexist tropes of Saint/Whore; in the new film it seems we will be shown the Mary who was mistreated, but also willing to fight to hold her crown and convinced she was superior to her protestant, illegitmate in her eyes, cousin Elizabeth.
Elizabeth likewise, who in depictions like Reign is villainized, is shown for the complex and pressured monarch that she was.
The costuming on display so far, though not always so accurate, is fantastic, and it's great to see Tudor beauty habits like extreme high hairlines shown! Robbie is both the divine Virgin Queen in her extravagent make up and dresses, and the real Elizabeth Tudor who aged, wore a wig and used cosmetics partly in a bid to hide the smallpox scars of her early adulthood. Finally a ginger Mary too!
The relationship of Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots in real life was one committed only in letters. They addressed each other as "my cousin" and "my sister" and reading them today brings their passions and conflicts into stark relief.
It shows that director Josie Rourke and writer Beau Willimon, who have adapted the work from John Guy's biography of Mary, know how important the epistolary dialogue between the Queens was as they feature exerts of the letters between the women.
The meeting is something that sadly never happened, although Mary tried to petition for it on multiple occasions. Cinema, however, has continously taken artistic liberties, and though Mary Queen of Scots continues this long tradition of showing this mythic meeting, this portrayal looks to be one with profound bite. Mary Queen of Scots is certainly a film to take note of once awards season comes along.
Mary Queen of Scots releases January 18th 2019, distributed by Universal Pictures.