You may want to avoid this post if you’re the type to avoid watching movie trailers because of spoilers. Because I’ve got FEELINGS ABOUT IT.
Man, I really gotta stop getting my hopes up when it comes to historical accuracy in films.
Y’all know I’m a Tudor girl. I adore Saoirse Ronan and I really liked Margot Robbie in I, Tonya so I was excited, if a little hesitant, when I heard about Mary Queen of Scots. Sure, Mary Stuart had brown hair and sure, Margot Robbie is probably too stunning to play Elizabeth, but I could get over that.
No one is trying to deny that Ronan’s Scottish accent is good. She’s great. But… Mary Stuart was raised in France. She was more French than Scottish when she arrived there as an adult to rule. But she would have arrived having a French accent. In most movies featuring Mary Stuart, she is portrayed as having a Scottish accent for the sake of not confusing the audience. The only portrayal I have seen where she was French was BBC’s 2004 two-part mini-series, Gunpowder, Treason and Plot where Mary was played by French actress Clémence Poésy.
Another major historical mess-up featured in the Mary Queen of Scots trailer was a meeting between Mary and her cousin, Elizabeth I of England. The two had a tumultuous relationship (at best) and never met in person. Not once. I think the fact that the two queens never met adds to their complicated, dramatic dynamic and should have been used to the movie’s advantage, instead of disregarding it completely.
Both women believed the other was a threat. Mary’s life was definitely exciting and fascinating but I’ve always found her attempts to get at the English throne extremely foolhardy. She could have easily had her Scottish throne and been a powerful monarch, but she made one devastating mistake after another and greatly underestimated Elizabeth’s spymasters.
Will I still see this movie? Oh, probably. But I wouldn’t want to see this movie with me because I’m probably going to be picking it apart as the inaccuracies unfurl on the screen before me.