The Atlantic

Where Mary Queen of Scots Goes Wrong

Starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, the film reduces the arcane details of centuries-old diplomacy to a personal beef between two celebrities.
Source: Focus Features

A 2018 film set centuries ago in Britain’s royal halls of power, a period piece laden with the requisite opulent costumes and set dressing, also does something new with the genre: interrogating the sexist limits on what women in this world could achieve. That movie, Yorgos Lanthimos’s , is about Queen Anne; it’s in theaters now and is well worth seeing. Mere weeks after that film’s release comes a similar work, this time examining two of Britain’s most significant female rulers. But while Josie Rourke’s is sumptuous and) indulges in every threadbare period-film trope.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
How Black Suffragettes Subverted the Domestic Sphere
Anna Julia Cooper was among the educators who emphasized the power of communal care as a method of addressing larger structural ills.
The Atlantic5 min read
The Cheap Thrills of The Kitchen and Why Women Kill
A new TV show and film tell similarly shallow stories about mistreated wives finding empowerment by getting revenge on their husbands.
The Atlantic2 min readPolitics
The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Ben on Board
Representative Ben Ray Luján said he supports an impeachment investigation into President Trump. Plus: Meet America’s electability voters.