A queen who lost three kingdoms. A wife who lost three husbands. A woman who lost her head.

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Synopsis: From the day she is born, Mary Stuart’s hand in marriage is coveted with such “rough wooing” that her mother sends the five-year-old Queen of Scotland to France as the betrothed of Dauphin Francois. Mary and Francois grow up almost like siblings at the luxurious French court and are married at 15. Shortly after they become King and Queen of France.

However, Mary’s reign as Queen of France comes to an abrupt end after only a year, upon the death of the sickly Francois at the age of 16. Having lost her claim to the French throne, the young widow returns alone to Scotland, a country devastated by poverty and a nation divided by religion. As a Catholic, she faces the hostility not only of the Protestant leader John Knox but is reviled by her people as an unmarried French whore.

Elizabeth has just become Queen of England and for Mary she is like a twin sister to whom she can open her heart. It soon becomes clear that Mary must have a husband. Even Elizabeth takes action by recommending her own lover, a suggestion indignantly rebuffed by Mary. Mary does wed again and gives birth to an heir to the throne, but her second husband Lord Darnley proves to be a weakling.

When Mary finds the love of her life, the Earl of Bothwell, she has Darnley murdered and marries Bothwell. Horrified by this deed and the blind passion that motivated it, the nobles and the people of Scotland spurn her. In desperation, she turns to Elizabeth for help. In response, her once dear friend the Queen of England imprisons her.

Genre

Biography | Drama | History

Rated

NR

Language

English French

Starring

Camille Rutherford...Mary
Mehdi Dehbi...Rizzio
Sean Biggerstaff...Bothwell
Aneurin Barnard...Darnley
Edward Hogg...Moray
Tony Curran...Knox
Bruno Todeschini...De Croc
Roxane Duran...Mary Seto
Joanna Preiss...Marie De Guise

Directed by

Thomas Imbach

Written by

Thomas Imbach
Stefan Zweig
Andrea Staka
Eduard Habsburg
Catherine Schelbert

Produced by

Thomas Imbach
Andrea Staka

Awards

NOMINATIONS

Golden Leopard – Locarno International Film Festival, 2013
Golden Frog – Camerimage, 2013
Swiss Film Prize – Best Film, 2014


OFFICIAL SELECTIONS

Toronoto International Film Festival, 2013
AFI Fest (USA), 2013
Glasgow Film Festival, 2014

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