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Queen of Earth - Movie Review

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Queen of Earth - Movie Review

4 stars

Women.  Madness.  Women AND madness.  I’m not insinuating anything here but the evidence in Alex Ross Perry’s Queen of Earth, a psychological thriller, is as disturbing as it is authentic.  And, I should point out, the film works as well as it does because we AREN’T talking about men and madness and the murderous behavior that follows.  Perry, who is an independent director willing to play with the low-budget canvas, presents viewers with an intense film that stands aside the masterpieces of Ingmar Bergman and the look of trashy genre flicks so often found in oversized cases during the early days of VHS rentals.  Queen of Earth is, in fact, the bridge that connects those two expansive and often unpredictable terrains.

Whether or not the academy will be paying attention to the performances in Queen of Earth remains to be seen but know this: Elisabeth Moss turns in one of THE best performances of the year as she and her best friend (Katherine Waterston) discover – while retreating from life into a beach house – have irrevocably drifted apart.  With a keen focus on long takes and exquisite emotion, Queen of Earth takes us inside the tortured mind of a woman on the edge of sanity.  Co-starring Patrick Fugit, Queen of Earth takes its tranquil setting to meditative extremes.  

Shot entirely on 16mm, Perry’s film succeeds in developing an unrivaled intimacy that most Hollywood films fail at.  The acting is intense and raw as Waterston discovers some pretty dark truths about her one-time best friend, Catherine, as she – knee-deep in the waters of depression – struggles to reconcile with her father’s passing and another failed relationship.  Full of slow zooms and retrained edits, this is a naturally lit film of asceticism that shocks with its earnestness and marvels with its every expression as a women’s film. 

Perry, who has currently been tapped by the Big Boys over at Disney to write the next Winnie-the-Pooh feature, is currently leading a very brave and honest voice in film.  As a filmmaker, he’s not worried with large budgets and seems to prefer crews of 25 people or less; this creates a sort of family environment behind the scenes that is responsible for the delivering this femme-centric message.  The dedication is very much alive on the screen throughout much of Queen of Earth

The film doesn’t ask for attention; it demands it and, hopefully, more audiences will share in its rewards as it expands its limited theatrical release this weekend.  Queen of Earth is a leader in filmmaking worthy of its title.

Queen of Earth - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated
90 mins
: Alex Ross Perry
Alex Ross Perry
Elisabeth Moss, Katherine Waterston, Patrick Fugit
: Drama
Queen of Earth
Memorable Movie Quote: "I could murder you right now and no one would know"
IFC Films
Official Site:
Release Date:
August 26, 2015
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: Elisabeth Moss delivers a fearless performance in this tour-de-force portrait of psychological breakdown. In her second collaboration with acclaimed director Alex Ross Perry (Listen Up Philip), she stars as Catherine, a woman careening towards emotional collapse after a one-two punch of heartbreaking events. Seeking peace and solitude, she heads to the secluded lakehouse of her best friend, Virginia (Inherent Vice's Katherine Waterston). But their quiet country retreat becomes a journey into steadily mounting hysteria as past and present collide and the love-hate relationship between the two women threatens to tear them apart. Driven by Moss' unforgettable performance, this darkly funny psychological thriller immerses viewers in the shattered mind of a woman on the edge.

No details available.

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