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New Podcast! Scannain Podcast (2019) #2!

It’s time for the latest Scannain podcast!

This week, I join Ronan Doyle and Jay Coyle to discuss the week in film news. But first, we talk about the films that we’ve watched this week, and what a bumper selection that runs the gamut from Wim Wenders’ Trick of the Light to films like Gotti and United Passions. There’s also an extended chat about the impact and legacy of Cloud Atlas, and the work of the Wachowski Sisters in general.

It’s also a bumper week for film news, with the looming Oscar nominations, the Screen Ireland 2019 production slate, the American release of Maze, the South by Southwest premiere of Extra Ordinary, the announcement of Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters sequel, and the Dublin International Film Festival Fantastic Flix lineup.

The top ten:

  1. Creed II
  2. Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet
  3. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  4. Bohemian Rhapsody
  5. Aquaman
  6. Bumblebee
  7. The Upside
  8. The Favourite
  9. Stan and Ollie
  10. Mary Poppins Returns

New releases:

You can download the episode here, or listen to it below.

Non-Review Review: Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots is unfocused and unmoored.

Mary, Queen of Scots feels like it should be a star vehicle for Saoirse Ronan. This makes sense. Ronan is a star in ascent. She has three Oscar nominations, and has recently headlined films with broad appeal like Brooklyn and Lady Bird. The concept of building a star vehicle for Ronan from the life and times of Mary Stuart seems like a good idea. Ronan experimented with larger-scale films in her teens like The Lovely Bones or The Host, but it seems perfectly reasonable to have her approach a large scale period drama as a genuine movie star.

Beth left unsaid.

However, Mary, Queen of Scots suffers from what feels like a crisis of confidence. The film’s second-billed lead is Margot Robbie, a successful Oscar-winning actor with similar star wattage to Ronan. Despite the fact that Mary Stuart retained the title of the film, Mary, Queen of Scots has largely been sold and marketed as a film with two leads; consider the misguided #dearsister hashtag publicity campaign, or the misguided branding on the character-focused profiles. It often seems like Mary, Queen of Scots clumsily aspires to be a biography of Queen Elizabeth I.

Mary, Queen of Scots is never entirely sure whether it wants to be a character-driven story focused on one woman’s life or a two-hander about lives in parallel. Watching the film, it feels like the decision was repeatedly taken and revised at various points during production, never committing to one approach for fear that it might preclude the other. The result is uneven and disjointed. Mary, Queen of Scots devotes enough time to Queen Elizabeth I that she feels like a major player, but only managed to get Ronan and Robbie together on set for a single day.

Queen of hearts.

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