MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS
2018, Focus Features, 125 min, Dir: Josie Rourke

MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart (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, 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 court imperil both thrones – and change the course of history.


ON CHESIL BEACH
2017, Bleecker Street Media, 110 min, UK, Dir: Dominic Cooke

Adapted by Ian McEwan from his bestselling novel, this drama centers on a young English couple in the summer of 1962. Florence Ponting (Saoirse Ronan), born into a prosperous, conservative home presided over by her overbearing father (Samuel West) and mother (Emily Watson), falls in love with Edward Mayhew (Billy Howle) whose chaotic but loving upbringing by a schoolteacher father (Adrian Scarborough) and brain-damaged artist mother (Anne-Marie Duff) stands in stark contrast. Following Florence and Edward through their idyllic courtship, the film explores sex and the societal pressure that can accompany physical intimacy, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night.


LADY BIRD
2017, A24, 94 min, USA, Dir: Greta Gerwig

Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut excavates both the humor and pathos in the turbulent bond between a mother and her teenage daughter. Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom (Laurie Metcalf), a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird's father (Tracy Letts) loses his job. Set in Sacramento in 2002, amidst a rapidly shifting American economic landscape, LADY BIRD is an affecting look at the relationships that shape us, the beliefs that define us and the unmatched beauty of a place called home.


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