Last year, Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie were pitted against each other in nearly every awards show’s best-actress category, thanks to their performances in Lady Bird and I, Tonya. And this December, the Oscar-nominated actresses are upping the stakes in Mary Queen of Scots, the sumptuous costume drama which sees the doomed Mary Queen of Scots (Ronan) wrestle with her cousin Elizabeth I (Robbie) for rule over Scotland.
A scene in the first trailer for the film sets the bar for actors heading into the 2019 Oscar season—with a powerful face-to-face showdown in which an imprisoned Mary meets with her cousin, the queen, to plead for her life. “Should you murder me, remember, you murder your sister . . . and you murder your queen,” Ronan as Mary says—a line reading that you will likely hear hundreds of times in the coming months as Ronan makes the awards rounds. (In a Vogue story released yesterday, Ronan and Robbie conveyed that filming the scene was a professional high point for them both.)