If there’s ever been a movie that’s going to dominate the acting categories at the Oscars, it’s the comma-less Mary Queen of Scots. It’s a period-piece costume-drama (check) about the conflict between Mary I of Scotland and Elizabeth I of England (check) starring previous Academy Award nominees Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan (check). The only question is whether the I, Tonya and Lady Bird stars will aim for Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress.
Robbie and Ronan might be together on Oscar night, but they were kept apart on-set to replicate the tension between the queens. “Working with Margot and Saoirse – we worked with them differently than I would do in the theatre,” director Josie Rourke revealed to Metro. “We kept them apart when they were doing that scene together. They only meet once in the film, so the film drives towards this climactic scene. When they look each other in the eye during that scene, they’re looking at each other as those characters for the first time and we managed to capture that on film in the most extraordinary way.”
Here’s the official plot synopsis.
Mary Queen of Scots explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart. 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. 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, which also stars Jack Lowden, David Tennant, Joe Alwyn, Martin Compston, Gemma Chan, Brendan Coyle, and Guy Pearce, opens on December 7.