Cert 15 124mins Stars 3

Irish actress Saoirse Ronan gives a royal performance in this solid historical drama which presents court politics from a female point of view.

The three times Oscar nominee is on usual brilliant form as Mary, a passionate, playful and proud 18 year old widow, newly arrived from France to rightfully claim the Scottish throne.

Surrounded by grasping and entitled men who use every available means to exploit, abuse, discredit and dispose of her, Mary’s only potential ally is the English Tudor Queen, Elizabeth I.

Aussie star Margot Robbie plays in a fake nose, face paint and bright red fright wig which makes her increasingly resemble a pimped-up and cross-dressing circus clown. And David Tennant has great fun as a preacher who brands Mary a strumpet.

Anchored by the excellent locations, set design and costumes, this is a handsome mix of sex, violence and intrigue, but it never achieves the epic stature it strives for and though always watchable it’s nothing to lose your head over.


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