Mary Queen of Scots was a pivotal film for Saoirse Ronan, transforming her from an actress playing children and teenagers into the role of the confident monarch of Scotland. Ronan stars alongside Margot Robbie, who portrays Queen Elizabeth I of England, in this film that documents the historic feud between royal cousins that led to Mary’s ex*cution. The supporting cast also includes strong talents such as David Tennant, Guy Pearce, Joe Alwyn and Gemma Chan.
Despite critical praise for Ronan and Robbie’s performances, the film was only nominated for an Oscar costume design, make-up and hair. Some critics criticized the film’s historical inaccuracies, as well as its failure to present this real-life drama on screen in an interesting way. Vulturefor example, called Ronan’s portrayal “plucky”, but regarded the film as “award season, low concept costume drama”.
Other reviews, however, praised Saoirse Ronan for the way the Scottish queen faced her fate. The keeper called her performance “brutal, edgy, [and] defiant”, while Chronicle of San Francisco called her “immediately pretty” and confident in her youth, which certainly fits historical descriptions of a child queen. Perhaps if the film had demonstrated its historical accuracy, critics would have been able to enjoy the performance of Ronan and Robbie, who are both electrified, especially when they finally meet face to face.
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