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Mary Queen of Scots (2013)

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A queen who lost three kingdoms. A wife who lost three husbands. A woman who lost her head.



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Title: Mary Queen of Scots (2013)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Camille Rutherford ...
Joana Preiss ...
Marie de Guise
De Croc
Mary Seton
Sylvain Levitte ...
Mary Fleming
Zoé Schellenberg ...
Mary Beaton
Pénélope Leveque ...
Mary Livingstone


A queen who lost three kingdoms. A wife who lost three husbands. A woman who lost her head.

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12 November 2014 (France)  »

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User Reviews

A Honest Film With Historical Accuracy!
12 November 2013 | by (Los Angeles, California, USA) – See all my reviews

This version of the story of "Mary, Queen of Scots" comes from Switzerland. Though the story of the most famous Scottish monarch of all has been told on the big screen several times before, this European-produced version is very credible. Its USA premiere was in November, 2013; and had a second screening at the AFI Fest in Hollywood. By the sizes of the audiences who wanted to see the picture, it confirms the fact that there is still much interest in Mary Stuart.

The film stars French-Swiss actress Camille Rutherford, who plays the title role with honesty and truthfulness. Rutherford portrays Mary as neither a complete heroine nor a complete villain, but rather a human being who inherits the trappings of being royal; as well walking the very thin line of trying to solve the problems of religious divisions. Rutherford has a earthy natural beauty to her (she is as attractive in-person as she is on the big screen); which lends itself to the character of 'Mary, Queen of Scots'. But she never allows her natural beauty to overshadow or become the main focus of her character. Rutherford allows her character's flaws to resonate with audiences; and does such a masterful job of portraying her character with a quiet subtlety, that movie patrons root for 'Mary' to be successful, though many know of her well-documented doom.

Director Thomas Imbach could have fallen into the trap of turning this costume period piece into a soap opera-like drama. But with Imbach at the helm, he avoids all the usual clichés, and gives this well-documented story a different slant. Is there drama within the life of Mary Queen of Scots? Yes, historical accounts do nothing but that otherwise; but Imbach and the screenwriters (including a Stuart descendant)keep close to historical accuracy by telling the story with dramatic believability. He manages to bring us into the world of Mary Stuart and Queen Elizabeth I of England, yet we never see Elizabeth I on the screen as a real person. The cinematography by Rainer Klausmann makes the most of the beautiful landscapes of Switzerland and France.

Sean Biggerstaff plays the 'Earl of Bothwell' very deliberately without going 'over-the-top' with his performance. Aneurin Barnard had the unenviable task of portraying the very flawed 'Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley', and did so without calling attention to his character over the title role of 'Mary', as well as does not overshadow the rest of the cast. Tony Curran does a marvelous job as the caustic 'John Knox"

But the real point-of-note in this picture is the performance of Camille Rutherford. Mary, Queen of Scots is such a real, 'larger-than-life' historical character with such a tragic ending that portraying such a figure has to be accomplished with an affirmative integrity for audiences to even care. Rutherford does that brilliantly.

This cinematic version of the story of Mary, Queen of Scots is better than the 1936 film, "Mary of Scotland" (starring Katharine Hepburn); and is just as good and looks better than the 1971 version "Mary, Queen of Scots" (starring Vanessa Redgrave). No doubt this 2013 version will be compared to the American-produced cinematic version, starring the very talented Saoirse Ronan. This European-produced version of the story of "Mary Queen of Scots" is one not to be missed by those who love movies.

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