Mary Queen of Scots reviews

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Precious Doll
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Re: Mary Queen of Scots reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:26 am

A horrible viewing experience is every respect, so much so that at the hour half mark I really felt like getting up and leaving. The two hour running time felt double that.

Characters talk a little in the film but they mainly give speeches and Josie Rourke shows no flair for directing cinema or performances more suitable for cinema. I believe she is a theatre director and some it shows though not in any way to the films advantage. The gay character and the acceptance of him by Mary is unbelievable and of course he meets a gruesome end. Its just a subplot that the film could have done without.

Whilst I can't quibble with the costume design nomination, the make-up nomination is a joke. Margot Robbie has been made to look more like Pennywise from It in what was probably an attempt by the make-up artists to give her a look different from previous QE1 portrayals. Speaking of QE1 portrayals, filmmakers really need to give her a rest for at a few decades. Glenda Jackson remains the definitive portrayal of the character, so much so that making films with QE1 seem rather redundant. In the last 20 years we've already had Cate Blanchett, Helen Mirren and goodness knows who else.

As for the colour washing, whilst I don't agree with Rourke's decision it mattered not as the film is so pitifully awful that its becomes an amusing distraction. This was a real horror of a film.
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Re: Mary Queen of Scots reviews

Postby dws1982 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:41 pm

This is essentially a straightforward historical drama, the kind that often gets high praise and awards consideration, with the bad fortune to be playing at the same time as The Favourite, a movie with a much different take on British history. As one reviewer on Letterboxd said, it's like opening an Airport sequel the same weekend as Airplane.

I'm not sure that I would've had much patience for this even without The Favourite (which I liked a lot) as a reference point. It's very much a Wikipedia Movie: This happened, then this happened, then that happened. It's all so heavily expository, so breakneck in its desire to run through historical signposts, that it never really takes time to form any perspective on the story it's telling. This is a problem with too many historical dramas: They cast their nets way too wide, so that they end up having to jump through way too many historical hoops. I wish more filmmakers would do like Spielberg did with Lincoln, where it focused on a relatively short period and didn't try to be all-encompassing. Occasionally, it hints at something more, but it's mostly about this years-long power struggle and nothing more. All of the characters suffer from this approach, especially Mary, whose entire character is just a variation on "I'm the rightful Queen of England". She's also, like Viggo in Green Book, anachronistically pro-LGBT: I'm sorry, but the way these situations are portrayed are impossible to take as anything other than a pander to 2018 sensibilities. For about 85% of the film, I was wondering why Margot Robbie got that SAG and BAFTA nomination, because she didn't have much to do, but then the meeting between Elizabeth and Mary comes, and then I understood. Robbie is really good in this scene and you feel the conflict between Elizabeth the Queen, and her responsibilities in that role, and the fact that, in Mary, she's finally face-to-face with maybe the only woman she'll ever meet who has some idea what her life is like as female regent in a man's world. Easily the best scene in the film, and a lot of that is due to Robbie.

One of the big things I've read about the film is Josie Rourke's colorblind casting. It's not really colorblind--there are only about four non-white characters in roles much larger than walk-ons. I really think this type of casting might of worked better in something like The Favourite, which isn't making any pretense of being a straightforward history lesson like Mary Queen of Scots is. I also didn't like the way Rourke, despite not giving the minority actors much to do beyond rattling off exposition or saying "Yes m'lady", frequently throws them in close-ups that don't serve the film or those characters. It's as if, having cast minorities in some of the incidental roles, she wants to make sure that we notice it. Which again feels less like an artistic decision than a move to curry favor with 2018 audiences.

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Re: Mary Queen of Scots reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:39 am

Yes, the critics seem to have gone gaga over this one which is more removed from history than any of the other versions starting with Ronan's Scottish accent - Mary was born in Scotland but her father (James V) died when she was an infant. She was raised in France by her French mother and did not return to Scotland until after the death of her first husband, King Francis II of France, who died after two years of marriage when she was 21. She spoke with a French accent, not a Scottish one although she's usually played speaking either with a British accent (Vanessa Redgrave) or a mid-Atlantic one (Helen Hayes, Katharine Hepburn).

Previous versions of the story have Mary and Elizabeth meeting in one of the many prisons in which Mary was held when in fact they never met. This one has them meeting earlier, before Elizabeth had her imprisoned, when they were more or less on equal ground. It may a good film for the era of the #MeToo movement, but anyone looking for insight into the actual era should look elsewhere.

On the other hand, I wouldn't be surprised to see it nominated for a slew of Oscars - cinematography, production design, costume design, editing, both sound categories and yes, Best Picture, Actress and Supporting Actress.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

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Re: Mary Queen of Scots reviews

Postby dws1982 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:18 pm

Pretty good reviews for a movie that everyone assumed was kept out of fall festivals because it wasn't any good. I'm guessing it just wasn't finished in time?

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Re: Mary Queen of Scots reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:52 am

“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

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Re: Mary Queen of Scots reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:44 am

“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

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Mary Queen of Scots reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:38 am

Last edited by Precious Doll on Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One


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