Fact verses Fiction – Mary Queen Of Scots

historical painting of the real mary queen of scots
Off with her head! (Ouch; too soon?)

I have read at least 10 books on Mary Queen of Scots, watched every documentary about her, and spent a great deal of time in Edinburgh retracing the steps of this mighty woman.

When the movie  Mary Queen of Scots was released, I knew Hollywood wasn’t going to go for accuracy; that’s just not what they do. I was prepared for some outlandish story, like maybe, Elizabeth and Mary would meet, embrace, form a two-girl show and play on Broadway. However, I was pleased to see that Hollywood only monkeyed with the whole face -to-face meeting thing, but it still worked.

Here are a few inconsistencies I noticed in 2018’s film Mary Queen of Scots:


 

  • Mary didn’t speak with a Scottish accent. Having been raised in the French Court, she spoke with a French accent.
  • Mary had hazel/brown eyes, but didn’t you love looking at Saoirse’s beautiful blue eyes?
  • The Scottish court was not as diverse as the movie implies. There were very few Africans or Asians in 16th century England, let alone in the nobility.
  • There was not a room full of male advisers when Liz signed Mary’s death warrant. The warrant was slipped in with dozens of other papers the Queen was signing at her leisure. Elizabeth was like so many other ‘business people’ that when handed a stack of papers to sign, by the time you’re near the bottom, you’ve forgotten your own name.
  • James Hepburn was a rapist, a murderer, and a real scourge on society. Even though some historians claim the marriage between Queen Mary and Bothwell was consensual, only the bride and groom know for sure. The fact that Bothwell turned tail and ran from Carberry Hill, while his little bride was surrounded by men who wished her harm, speaks volumes about his character.
  • At the beginning of the movie, a manor purporting to be Holyrood Palace was not the real Holyrood Palace.

 

There were a few other goofs, but who cares? It was a great movie.

Quiz – Mary Queen of Scots

Movie Review – Mary Queen of Scots

Quiz – Queen Elizabeth l and Mary Queen of Scots

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Movie Review – I, Tonya

This movie surprised me: I teared up and cried a little for Tonya Harding. She’s been known as an Olympic villain for so long…and here we see that she may have been unfairly painted by history. If this story is an accurate representation, then I feel bad for believing the worst of this girl. I hated seeing her crummy life, the abuse, and how she couldn’t seem to get a break. But I also reveled in her Triple Axle Jump, and obvious adoration of the sport. It’s clear her first and real love is figure skating.

But how were the actors? Really, top notch. We got to see how well they inhabited their roles during the credit reels. Margot Robbie was absolutely believable, if much much taller than the real Harding – but who cares about that? She pulled off a difficult role, carrying 90% of the film. I look forward to seeing this actor mature.

Sabastian Stan was almost unrecognizable. This is the freaking WINTER SOLDIER, folks (he even gets a funny little line about superheroes), but in I, Tonya, he’s a detestable, bumbling, moronic boob.

The best work by far — no shock here — was by Allison Janney. I hated her character with the fire of a sun, but her iron gravitas and mean wit was undeniable. She’s awful. She’s great. Janney has been underrated since her work in The West Wing, and I’d love to see her garner some awards and bigger roles after this.

The conceit of the character interviews (it’s not “4th wall breaking” if the character is filmed within the film) added a deft and light touch to an otherwise sad, desperate plot. I did like the 80s/90s musical cues and outfits. The direction was pretty standard, as anything more stylish would have only called attention to itself.

I personally didn’t love I, Tonya, since it’s pretty bleak; not my idea of a fun time. I wouldn’t have seen it if I didn’t need to get Peetimes. But it does tell an interesting tale. I’m not sure it needed to be told after all this time, but it does have that nostalgia factor and really excellent acting. I expect there will be awards aplenty.

Movie Grade: A-

Movie Review – Suicide Squad

Movie Review - Suicide SquadI have to admit it, I was hoping Suicide Squad would be the Guardians of the Galaxy of the DC universe. It didn’t come close. My wife and I talked about it, and if I had to compare it to another comic movie, I’d say it was about as good as the Thor movies.

Margot Robbie was awesome as Harley Quinn, but you knew that already from the previews. Will Smith was enjoyable as Deadshot. I think they have something good to work with as they grow from here.

My biggest disappointment was the villain. There was no character development of the villain at all.

The best part of the movie is the character development of the suicide squad. The main members had enough screen time, including back story, to flesh them out pretty well. There were a few members of the team that were completely forgettable.

I’m going to be nit-picky for a second, but there was some clunky story telling. Little things like, where did those soldiers get the scuba gear? Were they just carrying it around with them the whole time? I don’t think so. It’s one of those things that happen in movies like this, where the writer needs some characters to have some equipment, or something, so they just make it handy. There were a few other things like that that aren’t worth getting into. There were some other issues with the plot, but I don’t want to bring them up because it might spoil some of it.

Suffice to say, enjoy the movie for what it is. Just try not to analyze it too much, or the plot will crumble.

Grade: C

About The Peetimes: I managed to find 2 good peetimes, and one “emergency” peetime. Overall I would recommend the last peetime at 1:18.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Suicide Squad. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Buy the movie from Amazon.com on DVD or Blu Ray