When in Rome . . .
How to solve a problem like Kristina
Oscar buzz is part of the marketing campaign for the independent British feature film Mary, Queen of Scots as it goes into release today (December 7). According to the oddsmakers, three-time nominee Saoirse Ronan, who plays the title role, is likely to be among the best actress contenders when the 91st Academy Awards are handed out on February 24, 2019. Her co-star, Margot Robbie, who has one previous nomination, is touted as supporting actress competitor for her work as Mary’s nemesis, England’s Queen Elizabeth. That the Brits should be inclined to revisit their tumultuous past is hardly surprising. They may even take comfort in it during the mess that their Brexit process has become. Less remarked upon is the fascination that American audiences have with tales of dynasty and royal prerogative. The nation’s egalitarian values would seem to be at odds with the divine rights claimed by those born to wealth and privilege. And yet Disney’s “magic kingdom” thrives, with a princess for every day of the week. The special burden of monarchy when the sovereign is a queen is central to the stories told in the three films being added to the Reeling Back archive this Friday (with links to each following the Afterword to this posting). Sweden’s 17th-century Queen Kristina chose to exchange one set of problems for another, the story told in director Anthony Harvey’s 1974 feature The Abdication.
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More grubby than gritty
Faithless remake fails to be funny
Heart in the right place
. . . but the guts are malfunctioning
A bleak and white tale
Living in the land of a monster-god
Reeling Back set back
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