Following the premiere of the historical drama Mary Queen of Scots, on 15th November at the AFI Fest, the film now hits U.S. theaters. Mary Queen of Scots is the directorial debut feature film by Josie Rourke, from a screenplay by Beau Willimon, adapted from John Guy’s book, Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart. The film version features blistering performances from Saoirse Ronan, as Mary, and Margot Robbie, as her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.
Now, 7th December also sees the eagerly awaited original score, composed by Max Richter, officially released to stream. The German-born musician has already had quite the career – you just might not know it. Richter has been renowned for composing the music for the likes of Waltz with Bashir, Wadja, Lore, as well as the TV shows The Leftovers and Black Mirror.
Perhaps one of his most famous pieces features on his score for Disconnect in 2012. “On the Nature of Daylight” was used wonderfully in the powerful final moments of Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival. You remember when this confused the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to make Jóhann Jóhannsson’s brilliant score ineligible to be nominated.
Richter had become a very big favorite of mine in the last few years, with such distinctive, thoughtful film scores for the likes of Morgan and Testament of Youth. As well as composing the music for Hostiles in 2017, he is having a blinding year now with scores for White Boy Rick, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s Never Look Away, and, of course, Mary Queen of Scots.
Remarkably never nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Score, Richter is a strong contender this year. Especially as there is a heavy whiff that Mary Queen of Scots could take advantage of its late-comer status in the Oscars race, and nab nominations in several categories. The score is tremendous, pounding and gliding across the senses. With era-appropriate drums, sweeping violins, horns and strings building a balance between the dramatic and the emotive with such ease.
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