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February 22–28
City Cinema

14A, sexual content
Dir: Josie Rourke, UK, 124 min. Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan, David Tennant

Mary Queen of Scots“Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie give performances fit for queens in this surprisingly timely period drama. Ronan breathes fiery life into the ill-fated Mary Stuart, who moves back to her home country of Scotland as the 18-year-old widow of France’s King Francis II. When she takes her rightful place as Mary, Queen of Scots, she sends the menfolk into a froth that’s perpetually lathered by the likes of fire-and-brimstone Protestant preacher John Knox, who can’t decide if he hates her more as a Catholic or as a woman in power. Of course, Mary isn’t the only woman on a throne in the 16th-century British Isles: Her cousin is the Queen of England, Elizabeth I, and Mary writes to her ‘sister,’ eager to form an alliance. The canny script presents these two historical figures as magnificently, realistically complex women. Willing to mount her horse and lead the troops into battle at the first sign of insurgence, Mary is beautiful, clever, confident and passionate—strengths that often tip into weaknesses—while Elizabeth is a cagey politician, regally contained, often uncertain and soon scarred by a near-deadly bout with the pox…. As rare queens in the age of kings, they are keen to forge a bond with each other and their countries, but for the suspicion, envy, ambition and machinations of men… The performers ensure that Mary Queen of Scots feels vibrantly alive.”—Brandy McDonnell, The Oklahoman

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