Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Jack Lowden, Joe Alwyn, Martin Compston, Brendan Coyle, David Tennant, Guy Pearce
Historical bio-drama directed by Josie Rourke in her directorial debut. The story centers on 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 Stuart: England does not look so different from Scotland.
Mary’s Counselor: Aye, they are sisters.
Queen’s Counselor: Queen Elizabeth, your cousin Mary has returned to take up her throne in Scotland.
Nobleman: There is news, King Francis is dead. Your cousin Mary has returned to rule in Scotland. She is formidable, madam.
[dictating a letter to Elizabeth]
Mary Stuart: I hope we might meet in person and resolve our destinies.
Mary Stuart: My dear cousin Elizabeth, I hope we might meet in person, that I might embrace thee, but ruling side by side we must do so in harmony, not through a treaty drafted by men lesser than ourselves.
Queen Elizabeth I: My dear cousin, let out nations cherish each other, as we would, two kingdoms united.
Queen’s Counselor: How did the world come to this?
Nobleman: Wise men servicing the whims of women.
[referring to Mary]
Sir William Cecil: You must confront the truth, madam. She has a claim to your throne.
Queen Elizabeth I: You would have me depose a sister monarch.
Sir William Cecil: It is either civil war there, or civil war here.
Queen Elizabeth I: What says her brother?
Sir William Cecil: His allegiance is fully with us.
Sir William Cecil: [to Elizabeth] Mary is our foe. We ask that we never bow to her as we bow before you.
Queen Elizabeth I: You have the boldness to doubt my judgement.
Queen’s Counselor: So you come ready for war.
Mary Stuart: Not so. I may command armies, but tell my cousin that we pray for peace.
[referring to Mary]
Queen Elizabeth I: She is only your queen if I should not produce an heir.
Mary’s Servant: What is it like?
Mary Stuart: To have a man?
Mary Stuart: With heaven’s blessing, we bring an heir to Scotland, and to England.
Queen’s Counselor: It is a clear provocation. We must make war in Scotland.
Queen Elizabeth I: So put your skills to use.
Queen Elizabeth I: No one can know we meet. If you speak of it to anyone, I shall deny it.
Mary Stuart: [to Elizabeth] Be my boy’s godmother. Be my sister.
Mary Stuart: Do not play into their hands. Our hatred is precisely what they hope for. I know your heart has more within it than the men who counsel you.
Queen Elizabeth I: You would do well to watch your words.
Mary Stuart: I will not be scolded by my inferior.
Queen Elizabeth I: Your inferior?
Queen Elizabeth I: Your beauty, your bravery, now I see there’s no cause for envy. Your gifts will be your downfall.
Mary Stuart: If you murder me, remember you murder your sister, and you murder your queen.
Mary Stuart: Are afraid, Henry?
Lord Darnley: No.
Mary Stuart: Good. Because our swords are not just for show.
John Knox: We have a scourge upon our land. It is a woman with a crown.
Queen’s Counselor: Mary Stewart is condemned to death, by order of our sovereign Elizabeth, Queen of England.
Mary Stuart: How did it come this?
Earl of Moray: There’s no appetite for war.
John Knox: Then let us stir an appetite.
Earl of Moray: You cannot raise an army.
Mary Stuart: Many times you have said I cannot do what I have done.
Queen Elizabeth I: How cruel men are.
Mary Stuart: All I have done is try to unify this land. But they’re trying to usurp by crown. A murderer, a traitor, and a queen. Because I will be the woman she is not.
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