‘Mary Queen of Scots’ explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart. 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. 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. Betrayal, rebellion, and conspiracies within each court imperil both thrones – and change the course of history.
Directed by: Josie Rourke
Cast: Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan, Jack Lowden, Joe Alwyn, Gemma Chan, David Tennant, Guy Pearce
Release Date: January 18th, 2019
Dutch Director Martin Koolhoven presents a western that doesn’t hold back on the faux blood. Dakota Fanning (War of the Worlds) portrays Liz, a troubled woman who finds herself in great danger when a brutal reverend graces her frontier community with his archaic presence.
Guy Pearce (Memento, The Hurt Locker) plays the menacing reverend; aptly named The Reverend, who strives to exact his own warped vengeance. Pearce appears to give an unsettling performance despite showcasing a cliché villainous scar. Brimstone is presented in four chapters (Revelation, Exodus, Genesis and Retribution), and in true Memento fashion the first three tells the story in reverse, allowing the final chapter ‘Retribution’ to draw a conclusion to the narrative.
Following the acclaim of his previous film Winter in Wartime, Koolhoven’s first English language feature film seems to ooze enough biblical symbolism to make Mel Gibson wince. With that been said, critics have praised Koolhoven’s storytelling, further describing Brimstone as an intense and brooding take on a traditional western. Dakota Fanning has been cited to give arguably her best performance to date. You may however think ‘what’s new? – Dakota Fanning is a fantastic actor’, well her portrayal is further commended as her character is a mute. Cinemagoers must rely on Fanning’s intricately formed facial expressions to understand the emotions and nuances of her character.
Brimstone took to the London Film Festival last October but there is currently no official UK cinema release date.
Written by Mark F. Putley
I discovered some deeply disturbing news yesterday – another great film is set for an unnecessary remake. This time, it’s the turn of Christopher Nolan’s ‘Memento’, the intelligent and mysterious indie-thriller from 2000. As I tried to organise my thoughts on this – beyond typing the words “NOOOO”, “Why, Hollywood, why?” and excessive use of the shocked face emoji – I pulled together a few reasons why such a remake is a terrible idea.
For one, ‘Memento’ is already a bloody fantastic film. The tale of a man suffering from crippling short-term memory loss, who utilises an unusual method to help him remember key details that will eventually lead him to his wife’s murderer, is a beautifully original and perfectly executed idea from Christopher Nolan. It is a film which warrants re-watches aplenty but certainly does not warrant a remake. The original cast is headed up by the incomparable Guy Pearce, with support from the inimitable Carrie-Anne Moss and Joe Pantoliano, the latter of which is in a league of his own in this film. I find it so hard to imagine anyone else playing these characters, that I feel a little sorry for the actors cast to fill the originals’ boots.
Writer and director, Christopher Nolan, is currently one of the most popular visionary filmmakers of our time. Not only is this the man who gave life to a gritty, modern Dark Knight trilogy, but his last five films feature on the all-time box office records. Someone this popular is bound to inspire viewers to look at his back catalogue, meaning ‘Memento’ is still being discovered. Ergo, remake not needed – let the world find the original.
15 years is not nearly long enough for a film still achieving ‘classic’ status to be remade. The fact that Christopher Nolan isn’t involved only adds to the ammunition against Memento ‘take two’. My head says I should reserve judgement and give it a chance, but my heart says hell no! Who ever heard of a good remake anyway?
Written by Sasha Hornby