Mary Queen of Scots is a historical drama directed by Josie Rourke and written by Beau Willimon, based on John Guy’s biography, Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart. This film is a period piece and takes place in the 1500s chronicling the 1569 conflict between Mary of Scotland and Elizabeth of England. It could be considered a tragedy based on a true story but historically incorrect which caused some adverse reviews from critics. However it’s a worth while film that I have mixed feelings about.
In 1561, nineteen-year-old Mary (Saoirse Ronan), Catholic Queen of Scotland, returns to her home country from France following the death of her husband, Francis II of France, to take up her throne. She is received by her half brother, the Earl of Moray (James McArdle). In neighboring England, her cousin, twenty-eight-year-old Elizabeth (Margot Robbie) is the Protestant Queen of England. She is unmarried, childless, and threatened by Mary’s potential claim to her throne. Mary soon clashes with the cleric John Knox (David Tennant) and dismisses him from her court. Knox is a protestant and leader of the Scottish Reformation and perceives Mary to be a danger to the kingdom’s Protestant supremacy.
Here we have two queens, which are also cousins, that are jealous of each other. One wants to be married with children so there’s an heir to the throne and the other never wants to be married or have children but is in love with her counselor, Robert Dudley (Joe Alwyn). Elizabeth is all about the business of running the country while Mary tries to have both, a family and run a country. The two queens play a game of chicken with each other in hopes one will yield. Mary admits she married the wrong man the first time around and has now repeated history with a new husband, Henry Stuart: Lord Darnley (Jack Lowden) who is atrocious [according to this film) in every way. Upon Darnley marrying Mary, she discovers him in bed with her friend and private secretary, David Rizzio (Ismael Cruz Córdova) the following morning. Faced with insurgency and infidelity, Mary decides to quash the rebel forces but spares both Rizzio and Moray. She demands Darnley give her a child. When a child is conceived, Mary declares that the child is the “heir to Scotland and England” — which deeply offends the English.
Of course there is so much more to this intriguing story but I must stop here, as not to give it away. What becomes of Mary, her husbands and her ploy to reign over England, Scotland and Ireland. I found Mary Queen of Scots extremely interesting and well acted. There is so much to take in — everything from adultery to beheadings. History dictates a slightly different version and the critics have picked up on the changes thus giving the film a scolding and deflated ratings. If you like period pieces, Check It Out!
[Queen of Scots is Oscar Nominated for Best Costume Design and Best makeup and Hairstyling]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged adrian lester, alex beckett, andrew rothney, brendan coyle, david rizzio, david tennant, earl of bothwell, earl of lennox, earl of moray, eileen o'lhiggins, elizabeth hardwick, gemma chan, guy pearce, ian hart, ismael cruz Córdova, izuka hoyle, jack lowden, james mcardle, joe alwyn, john knox, king james I, liah o'prey, lord darnley, lord maitland, lord thomas randolph, maria-victoria dragus, martin compston, mary, mary beaton, mary fleming, mary livingston, mary queen of scots, mary seton, matthew stewart, queen elizabeth I margot robbie, robert beale, robert dudley, saoirse ronan, simon russell beale, walter mildmay, william cecil
Ferdinand is a 3D computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Blue Sky Studios, Davis Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Animation. The film was based on Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson’s children’s book, The Story of Ferdinand, written by Robert L. Baird, Tim Federle and Brad Copeland and directed by Carlos Saldanha. Ferdinand is another animated movie I was obligated to see because of the Oscars. Ferdinand is also another animated movie I was happy to have seen because it was excellent with a beautiful message. I must say, animation story telling is getting better and better.
Ferdinand opens in Spain on a ranch owned by Moreno (Raúl Esparza) called Casa del Toro that trains bulls for bullfighting. There is where a bull calf named Ferdinand (Colin H. Murphy) lives. He is ridiculed by his fellow calves, Bones (Nile Diaz), Guapo (Jet Jurgensmeyer), and Valiente (Jack Gore) for being non-confrontational and for his habit of smelling and protecting flowers. After months and months of ridicule, a melon collie Ferdinand runs away from home after his father, Raf (Jeremy Sisto) doesn’t return to the ranch after being chosen for a bull fight, plus a flower Ferdinand was fond of was flattened by Valiente after his own father was defeated by Raf. Running away eventually lands Ferdinand at a florist’s farm, where he is lovingly accepted and adopted into the family.
Ferdinand (John Cena) eventually grows up into an enormous bull, he still retains his non-violent, flower-loving nature. Due to his size, he is left alone when his new family, Juan (Juanes), Nina (Lily Day), and their dog, Paco (Jerrod Carmichael), goes to the town of Ronda for an annual flower festival. Against the family’s decision that Ferdinand stay home for his own protection, he decides to go to the festival anyway. As a result, Ferdinand gets stung by a bee and unintentionally causes much chaos around town that results in him being sent back to Casa del Toro, much to his and the family’s sadness.
Once back at his old ranch, Ferdinand finds his old friends, Bones (Anthony Anderson), Guapo (Peyton Manning), and Valiente (Bobby Cannavale) have also grown up and have been joined by a Scottish bull named Angus (David Tennant) and a silent but intimidating bull named Maquina (Tim Nordquist). Ferdinand is still disrespected by the bulls, but manages to befriend a crazy goat named Lupe (Kate McKinnon).
Ferdinand goes on to bigger and more exciting adventures. The message projected in Ferdinand is extremely profound. Between Ferdinand’s beginnings at Casa del Toro to the Florist farm and back to Casa del Toro, there are many plots to explore. I am unable to find anything negative about this film. Ferdinand is brilliantly smart, beautifully illustrated and well acted with lessens to be had by all. Or course, the actors only lend their voices to the characters. I highly recommend Ferdinand, which is now on DVD and Blu-Ray and is also streaming on Amazon. I don’t think you can go wrong with this one, the kids will love it!
[Ferdinand is Oscar nominated for Best Animated Feature.]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS, STREAMING
Tagged angus, anthony anderson, belita moreno, bobby cannavale, bones, casa del toro, colin h. Murphy, david tennant, ferdinand, guapo, jack gore, jeremy sisto, jerrod carmichael, jet jurgens meyer, john cena, Juan, juanes, julia scarpa saldanha, kate mckinnon, lily day, lupe, maquina, moreno, nile diaz, nina, paco, peyton manning, raúl esparza, raf, tim nordquist, valiente