Mary Queen of Scots wants to be a big feminist picture. A brutal excoriation of the wrongs done to women, powerful before their time, brought down by men who cannot counteance their position. In truth I have little idea how historical a work it is, writer Beau Willimon (of House of Cards, among others) adapted the work from an acclaimed biography — but one senses that his tastes are a little too contemporary for the material.
There’s mess in the life of Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson. Nothing quite adds up for her in the way it’s supposed to, or maybe she’s just getting the sums wrong. It’s telling in a way that the character is bad at maths and you ever really find out what she’s good at. Aside from making a scene, or trying to be about as alive as she can be in any given moment. Her impulses rarely serve her well but they’re hers.