Countless films, TV episodes, songs, and poems have portrayed Mary Stuart’s attempted coup with varying degrees of success. Now, Focus Features has dropped the trailer for Mary Queen of Scots (no comma!) with Saoirse Ronan playing the titular Scottish monarch, who attempts to seize the English throne from her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. Of course, Mary is not successful in her quest, and the trailer does not pretend to take a stab at revisionist history. The interesting aspect of this power struggle resides within the two actresses who portray the two female rulers, holding their own in an era of kings.
These are, to be certain, two formidable actresses, even though one (Robbie) often pushes against the tide by selecting roles that one wouldn’t necessarily expect of her. Ronan has actually been tied to this project since 2013, several years before she delighted audiences in Lady Bird, for which she earned an Oscar nod (her third one, and she’s now approaching her mid 20s). Meanwhile, Margot Robbie has continued her streak of unpredictable career choices by playing the Virgin Queen, a performance that arrives after her Oscar nomination for I, Tonya and in sharp contrast as well to Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad.
One can never expect either of these two actresses to play it safe, and indeed, their brief confrontation within the trailer promises that, at the very least, this film should take its subject more seriously than CW’s recent teen-soap, Reign.
Earlier this week, these posters surfaced with “Born To Power” and “Born To Fight” captions, labels that arguably may be mismatched. Mary Queen Of Scots arrives in theaters on December 7.