Focus Features’ Working Title pic Mary Queen of Scots, is moving its limited debut from Nov. 2 to Dec. 7.
That first weekend in December is a prime launchpad for awards season fare, read that’s where Fox Searchlight launched its best picture winner The Shape of Water, and its best actress winner The Black Swan eight years ago.
Directed by Josie Rourke, and written by House of Cards Beau Willimon, Mary Queen of Scotts explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart played by Saoirse Ronan. Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. But Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth 1 (Margot Robbie). Each young Queen beholds her “sister” in fear and fascination. Rivals in power and in love, and female regents in a masculine world, the two must decide how to play the game of marriage versus independence. Determined to rule as much more than a figurehead, Mary asserts her claim to the English throne, threatening Elizabeth’s sovereignty.