Mary Stuart (played by the beautiful Saoirse Ronan) attempts to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I (Queen of England) played by the talented Margot Robbie. She is then imprisoned for years and she faces execution. The supporting cast includes: Angela Bain as Snuffer Woman, Richard Cant as Thomas Andrews, Guy Rhys as Earl of Kent, Thom Petty as Earl of Shrewsbury, Izuka Hoyle as Mary Seton, John Ramm as Bull, Simon Russell Beale as Robert Beale, Abby Cassidy as Fotheringhay Gentlewoman, Shalisha James-Davis as Fotheringhay Gentlewoman, Maria Dragus as Mary Fleming, Eileen O'Higgins as Mary Beaton, Liah O'Prey as Mary Livingston and Greg Miller Burns as Thomas Hepburn.
The infant Mary (played wonderfully by the beautiful Saoirse Ronan) is sent to catholic france because protestants have taken over Great Britain. She arrives at a Scottish castle. They pay their respects and she will stay a while. Mary writes a letter to Queen Elizabeth I (played by the gorgeous Margot Robbie). Mary wants to rule in unison. Queen Elizabeth doesn't like that idea.
Mary addresses her scottish subjects and tells them that she wants to rule. They don't like the idea but they think about it. The Scots were mainly protestants. The protestants say that they don't want the empire to be ruled by rome. Mary was once married. She tells that to her servants.
Elizabeth I wants Robert her lover to marry the Queen of Scots. Elizabeth I sends a group of soldiers with a painting of her as a gift. Elizabeth I has smallpox. She is depressed. But Robert (a suitor) wants to visit Mary. She chooses the queen in a game of guess hehe. He knows it's her. Robert flirts with Mary in a green field. Beautiful scenes, Robert nearly kisses her. He ends up going to bed with her. Elizabeth I gets better from Smallpox but she still has scars.
She doesn't want Robert to marry her. Queen Mary still wants to marry. But her subjects want to quit court. They think that she is making the wrong choices. Robert and Mary are to marry. A percentage of the scotts guards want a civil war against Mary. Marys guards travel with her in readiness for battle. There is some fighting. Mary's team wins.
Mary pounces on Robert in the bedroom. He makes love to her in an aggressive way. Back with Elizabeth I, she is told Mary needs a second army. Elizabeth I wants to also have a baby. The scotts sign a bond with Robert. They want a pardon from Mary. They have to produce the bond.
Mary wants Elizabeth I to be her godmother. Mary writes a letter to her. The letters that the two queens write to each other are verbally spoken and are a delight to listen to. They provide nice breaks in the plot. Mary says that Robert signed the bond. Mary banishes Robert to a house. Robert's house goes up in flames by accident. Mary is now widowed.
Mary must wed a scottish noble. He makes love to her in her bedroom. They marry. The rebellious Scots want another battle. They don't like that Mary may have ordered his husband dead. Mary meets her Elizabeth I behind curtains so they don't necessarily need to see each other. But they end up facing eachother. It's a good scene. Elizabeth I says that they will go to war with Scotland. She says "I am more man than woman now, this throne has made me so". What great dialogue.
Elizabeth I said she was jealous as she removes her wig. "Your gifts are your downfall" she says to Mary. Elizabeth I says "May your soul have pity on mine". Mary then says "James my only son... your crown will unite two kinghdoms.. and we shall have peace". They then behead her. It's quite a heavy way to end the movie. What an impact.
"This movie has a captivating plot. What I enjoyed was the written letters (turned to voice over) between the two queens. They had a great respect for each other even though they had opposing views on how to run their respective nations"Margot Robbie for me stole the show. Her character was quite ruthless but she was in a very tricky situation. What a 2hrs 4min.