Fasten your corsets, 2018 is gifting us with a docket of historically inspired period pieces. If you can’t stomach the thought of another gritty superhero flick, here are the five most interesting movies inspired by history coming out this year... and they all happen to be female led, bonus!
5. Mary Magdalene - Starring Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Chiwetel Ejiofor
People always talk about Mary Magdalene in hushed whispers. The focus is always on the fact that she was a whore, not that she was friends with Jesus. However, Mary’s time has come as new scholarship paints her as a pivotal member of Jesus' circle, and now she gets her own movie to tell her story in her own words.
4. Vita and Virginia - Starring Elizabeth Debicki, Gemma Arterton, Isabella Rossellini
Another much whispered about woman was Virginia Woolf. A superstar in the modernist writing circles, her love life was much speculated upon. In this film, the author’s tragic death is not the main focus. Instead, the heart of this movie is Woolf’s love affair with socialite and popular author, Vita Sackville-West.
3. The Favourite - Starring Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, Nicholas Hoult
This delicious excerpt from IMDB says all you need to know: "A bawdy, acerbic tale of royal intrigue, passion, envy and betrayal in the court of Queen Anne in early 18th Century England." Queen Anne was the monarch who finally brought together the kingdoms of England and Scotland. Plagued by health issues her entire life, this film details the intense rivalry of two cousins who each want to be Anne’s favorite.
2. Mary Queen of Scots - Starring Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan, David Tennant
There is a plethora of media detailing the lives of the Tudors. Now the story of the Stuarts is finally coming to the big screen. This film details Mary Stuart's attempt to overthrow her cousin Queen Elizabeth I and her subsequent imprisonment. With such a stellar cast, this cutthroat rivalry is sure to be compelling.
1. Colette - Starring Keira Knightley, Dominic West
Keira Knightley is the reigning queen of recent period pieces and to be frank, this story has all the elements of good, steamy, historical drama. The movie is based on the life of Gabrielle Sidonie Colette who married a controlling Parisian man named Willy who was 14 years her senior. Her creativity flourished when he introduced her to the bohemians of Paris, and recognizing her talent, convinced her to publish her writing under his name. Her "Claudine" series was so popular that she and her husband became the first modern celebrity couple. Increasingly frustrated by the lack of recognition, however, Colette began an affair with the Marquise de Belbeuf...a woman.
2018 promises to be a standout year for historical drama. Not only are the ladies front and center in a way history routinely dismisses, but we finally get a diversity of relationships not often seen in period pieces. Happy viewing!