Awards season is now in full swing, and you’re faced with a ton of choices as to what you can see in theaters.
The period drama Mary Queen of Scots opens next week. For one, it’s a pretty good movie. About what you’d expect when buying a ticket for a lavish period piece, with a great performance by Saoirse Ronan. Clearly inspired by the popularity of Game of Thrones, it’s a violent drama/thriller about the power struggle between Mary Queen of Scots (Ronan) and Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie). It’s not a great film like The Favourite, but it’s well done and highly entertaining.
Some mild spoilers ahead:
One of the film’s central story threads is the dynamic between Mary and her second husband, Lord Darnley (Jack Lowden). Despite definitely not being heterosexual, Darnley charms Mary into marriage. Then he sleeps with Mary’s trusted servant David Rizzio (Ismael Cruz Córdova), causing all kinds of trouble.
This becomes a love triangle, sort of, that’s way more sad than romantic. Frankly, it’s pretty hot seeing Darnley and Rizzio wake up naked in bed together. And it’s nice to know that in 2018, we can finally have period pieces that acknowledges men slept with other men in the past. Mainstream movies have just kind of been pretending that didn’t happen for the most part.
Oh, and Lowden is really studly.
This is a period piece about literal backstabbing. That’s like, the main theme of the movie—royals literally stabbing each other in the back. So it doesn’t feel like much of a spoiler to say these characters don’t have a happy ending.
Focus Features releases Mary Queen of Scots Dec. 7.