Mary Queen of Scots appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became an excellent presentation.
Overall sharpness worked well. Virtually no softness materialized, so the movie appeared accurate and concise.
I noticed no signs of jaggies or edge enhancement, and shimmering was absent. The film lacked print flaws and seemed clean.
Many period pieces opt for subdued palettes, and that was definitely true here. The colors of Scots tended toward a laid-back mix of orange/amber and teal, without much to call vivid. Still, these were fine given the stylistic choices.
Blacks seemed dark and right, and shadows demonstrated fairly good clarity, though interiors were slightly dense at times. Across the board, this became a terrific image.
In general, the film’s Dolby Atmos mix stayed fairly subdued. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, this was a chatty flick, though it occasionally displayed lively elements.
A few action-ish moments fared best, as those showed movement and range. These were pretty infrequent, though, so good stereo music and general ambience ruled the day. This meant we got a nice sense of place but rarely much more.
Audio quality satisfied. Music was full and rich, while effects showed nice clarity and accuracy, with strong low-end during those occasional “action” moments.
Speech – obviously an important factor here – appeared concise and crisp. Nothing here soared, but it all seemed positive.
As we head to extras, we open with an audio commentary from director Josie Rourke and composer Max Richter. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at historical elements, story/characters, sets and locations, music, effects, stunts/action, photography and related areas.
Though Richter chimes in occasionally, Rourke dominates the commentary. She provides a fairly good overview of the production as well as notes about the facts behind the movie. This winds up as a mostly informative piece.
Three featurettes follow, and An Epic Confrontation runs three minutes, 58 seconds and offers notes from Rourke, producers Debra Hayward and Tim Bevan, screenwriter Beau Willimon, author Dr. John Guy, and actors Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie.
“Epic” covers the movie’s scene in which the leads meet. Though brief, “Epic” brings us a few good notes.
Tudor Feminism lasts three minutes, 35 seconds and features Ronan, Robbie, Willimon, Rourke, Hayward, Guy, and actor Ian Hart. This show discusses the leads through the prism of today’s feminism. It lacks much substance.
Finally, Something About Marys goes for two minutes, 24 seconds and includes remarks from Ronan, and actors Eileen O’Higgins, Izuka Hoyle, Liah O’Prey, Maria Dragus, Jack Lowden, James McArdle, and Ismael Cruz Cordova.
We hear how much fun the supporting “Marys” had on the set. It’s a fluffy piece.
The disc opens with ads for On the Basis of Sex, On Chesil Beach, A Private War, The Bookshop and Collette. No trailer for Scots appears here.
A tale chock full of intrigue and natural drama, Mary Queen of Scots fails to muster an impact. The film wastes its talented leads and becomes a disjointed chore to watch. The Blu-ray comes with excellent visuals, positive audio and supplements highlighted by a largely enjoyable commentary. Scots gives us a lackluster historical tale.