Tuesday May 26, 2020

Lively historical drama loses its head

Rourke recreates history with an arresting visual flair, but cannot exert the same grip on her overloaded story

20th January, 2019
Saoirse Ronan in Mary Queen of Scots

Josie Rourke, artistic director of London’s acclaimed Donmar Warehouse theatre and a multiple Olivier-award winner, makes her film debut with Mary Queen of Scots, casting the peerless Saoirse Ronan as the doomed 16th-century Scottish monarch engaged in a battle of birth and blood against her cousin Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie), scheming in London.

Casting aside her theatrical roots, and the abounding clichés inherent in the genre, Rourke recreates history with an arresting visual...

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