Thank you to the film crew for bringing this beautiful film to us, much appreciated! At times, she’s lit in a way that her blonde hair radiates as if a halo making her seem even more angelic. Poor choice of actors as portrayals were not convincing (mostly just eye candy appeal), and acting seemed to be mostly rote memorization and regurgitate. Whenever he wasn’t onscreen I forgot he was in the film altogether. Captivating music enhances your experience. This is a story for women. Nicole Kidman plays the Queen in the title. FAQ Sadly, Queen of the Desert isn’t Herzog at his best. Unfortunately, it’s given only cursory interest in various one-liners, about Bell’s independence or in the simplistically rendered showdowns she. The cinematic dumping of Queen of the Desert continues the outrageous erasure of Gertrude Bell from pop-culture consciousness. This is the time of the Ottoman Empire’s last days as various nations become mired in World War I. What pulls this woman to explore these different cultures and face-off with far more powerful men keen on underestimating her? This gives Bell’s struggle between her own desires and social constraints a timely quality. Angelica Jade Bastién is a Chicago based critic and essayist. Lots of desert scenes which seemed more Hollywood cute than a sweaty gritty actual depiction. In forming such a reverential biopic the humanity of these characters and Herzog's own wildness are whittled away, leaving the mere husk of a more interesting story behind. Made me want to know more about the history. Her simpering sugary overly acted "love" affair with Franco made me gag on it's sugary soft spoken sweetness and Franco always looked like he was about to turn to the camera and say, just joking wah wah wah. This is a very beautiful story, the rating should be at least 9 stars. Tactile a full of beauty, Kidman's representation of Bell is simple and her prose lingers in your mind once the film has ended. Metacritic Reviews. It’s a trait shaped by, class, race, and access. Writers tried to rescue with emphasis on romantic scenes which were also not convincing. I think the majority of the blame has to go to Herzog's screenplay because this is a film about one of the most interesting women in the world and yet there's nothing interesting about her told here. What a massive disappointment from Herzog. The narrative tracks her life and travels leading up to her collaboration with Winston Churchill (Christopher Fulford) in mapping the borders of Iraq, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. Ambition, particularly for women, is a tricky attribute. Jules Goes to Therapy in Her Own Special Episode of Euphoria, HBO's Painting with John is a Magnetic Celebration of Arts and Artists, The Nostalgia of Epix's Bridge and Tunnel is Filled with Wrong Turns, The Sister Sacrifices Logic, Tension as Its Twists Unravel. It’s a trait shaped by class, race, and access. Hey Theatre Fam, We are heading out to the New Wimbledon Theatre to see the new UK Tour of PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT! 7.75 of 10. Grizfolk, Queen of the Desert Review. Grizfolk is an alternative rock band based in Los Angeles and Nashville with its roots in Sweden. “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” is a Slow Burn Theatre production running through June 30 in the Amaturo Theater at the Broward Center, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Although it's not Lawrence of Arabia, and Robert Pattinson suffers from O'Toole comparison, director Werner Herzog still brings to life the hitherto little-known heroine, Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman). What drew her to specifically travel this part of the world? It was unheard of and yet she did it. Nicole is not Lawrence. Kinski loathed Herzog. “Queen of the Desert” demonstrates how staid a biopic can become when it forgets the icons at its center were also once human beings teeming with dreams, sins yearnings and contradictions. Adding a Lawrence character was almost a charade. You will be glad you spent two hours watching this movie, preferably with you significant other or a friend, as you will want to talk to somebody about it. A Remarkable Human, a Remarkable Life, Too Bad Hollywood Ruined It, About as Bland and Lifeless As You Can Get. Franco is lost in the period trappings. You've heard heard of "Sheena, Queen of the Jungle": Now meet "Gertie, Queen of the Desert" as portrayed by an ever lovely and delicate Nicole Kidman in Werner Herzog's epic sandy biopic of English aristocrat Gertrude Bell, who became a sort of female Lawrence of Arabia when she was enthralled by the purity of the way of life of the Bedouin nomads of the middle eastern deserts and ventured on her own into the interior to study their cultures first hand and hob- nob with the sheiks despite strong objections by the British governors in Cairo and Baghdad. This is again a cheap movie they serve us. Despite the rich biographical material of the real-life woman on which this is based and the skill of the filmmakers involved, “Queen of the Desert” ends up being an emotionally empty, thematically ill-defined, and listless affair. Should I do laundry now or wear an outfit I don't really like but is clean for work tomorrow. For a movie with so much heart, "Queen of the Desert" is a remarkably bloodless enterprise. Topical background in view of today's headlines -- ISIS beheadings and incineration of hostages and all that, most lushly filmed in Morocco and Jordan with an extensive cast you will need a scorecard to keep track of and so long it feels like GWTW, but worth the patience it takes to sit through especially if you are a Werner Herzog unconditional and, like myself, a lover of camels. For anyone who doesn't know anything about the middle east should see it just for history and Gertrude Bells significance in history.... For quite a while I kept wondering if Herzog is able to make at least one good movie without Klaus Kinski. Unfortunately, it’s given only cursory interest in various one-liners about Bell’s independence or in the simplistically rendered showdowns she has with powerful men, as if that is enough. Nicole Kidman gives a brilliant performance, Beautiful film, amazing story, brilliant acting, Movies About Scientists, Engineers, Doctors, Researchers, Inventors, Explorers and People who do Amazing Things. Now that is a woman who has LIVED in the desert, and loved it. She is undeterred by dangers of war, gangs and thieves. In QUEEN OF THE DESERT, Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman) lives in England near the turn of the 20th century. The legendary German director is never able to find the right balance between the romantic melodrama and the sweeping historical drama making Queen of the Desert one of his weaker efforts. Before this I was a huge Herzog fan, which is why this film is such a bizarre shock. In scenes set in 1906, the characters display this foreknowledge that there will be a World War when at the time, virtually everyone thought that would be an impossibility. I wish more people were able to appreciate beauty. | Instead I was left with questions. She had been prevented from marrying him by her overly possessive parents on some very flimsy grounds - he was a gambler and had no fortune, when they could have easily set up a trust fund for her which he could not touch. Her parents apparently even opened her mail to ensure that she was not being led astray. I believe that Queen of The Desert is greater than the sum of its parts, and that its parts are inspired to begin with. Online reviewers have written 643 reviews, giving The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) an average rating of 76%. The movie does a terrible job of showing the viewer what she actually did back then. The acting was hackneyed and Nicole Kidman, though trying very hard, was totally unconvincing. Her exploits at the beginning of the 20th century helped cast a favorite light on Bedouins and Druses as she moved among them and helped negotiate the end-of-WWI land split in Arabia and environs. Jessica Kiang of Indiewire in her review said that ""Queen of the Desert" is such a disappointment when you consider the wild portraits of pioneers that Herzog has given us before, that he's so reverent here." Why was Bell so drawn to her line of work? She was respected, admired and desired. But perfection isn’t interesting in a biopic such as this; it’s a death knell. It is a really funny film, as we follow a group of drag queens lip syncing to famous pop songs while journeying across Australia. If this was edited down just a bit the film would have been so much better. Most reviewers missed the mark on this one, although in a commercial sense it probably won't be successful because it will fly over the heads of typical audiences, especially in the U.S. This movie will leave you blissful and hopeful after watching it so beautiful. "Queen of the Desert" is so focused on Bell's romantic life that it fails to develop anything else about her. External Reviews I think the majority of the blame has to go to Herzog's screenplay because this is a film about one of the most interesting women in the world and yet there's nothing interesting about her told here. Quite enjoyable if you don't know your history and have not read the book 'Desert Queen'. It is never able to communicate the complexity of the woman at its center. She garners their respect and admiration in turn for reasons the film never seeks to explore with much depth. As the Ottoman Empire was collapsing Gertrude came in with knowledge of the tribal systems of the people and was able to help the authorities set up kingdoms with appointed Kings from the appropriate lineage to assauge the people. The lugubrious voiceover provides no deeper understanding of Bell. Beautiful film, not too detailed on facts. It’s, seen in the marketing of brands, the recently erected bronze “Fearless Girl”, statue in Wall Street, and explored in recent works like ", This gives Bell’s struggle between her own desires and social constraints a timely, quality. It was as though Werner Herzog had suddenly become a pupil of Josh Boone, which is like Mozart taking lessons from Justin Bieber. But it is not a work of genius--not because it isn't great but because Herzog failed to dumb it down for average movie-going audiences. By David Duprey On Apr 13, 2017. Born in Victorian England when a female’s purpose in life was to find a husband and raise a family, Bell broke all stereotypes. It can be both destructive and admirable. QUEEN OF THE DESERT isn't as awful as some people have made it out to be but at the same time you can't help but call it a complete misfire on many levels. Gertrude Bell is one of the most remarkable people (of either sex) to have ever lived...but you wouldn't know it from this film. for brief nudity and some thematic elements. Queen of the Desert might be Herzog's most brilliant film to date. The film briefly flirts with the idea that maybe Bell was simply born in the wrong time. The dynamic he develops with Kidman is neither a convincing portrait of passion nor an evocation of two intellectual equals coming together. I stared in disbelief as Nicole Kidman entered and I was expected to believe she was a young maybe early 20's woman. Apparently, when her nanny tried to put her in a dress she pushed the woman away and proudly exclaimed “On my own!” Bell is quickly established as an impetuous, headstrong, and intelligent woman, disregarding social mores at every turn. More than anything they require a strong personality and point of view from both director and star, which is regrettably in short supply here. It’s seen in the marketing of brands, the recently erected bronze “Fearless Girl” statue in Wall Street, and explored in recent works like "Big Little Lies." You will also want to read a book about Gertrude Bell and about the Middle East after watching ... ideally visit there as well although most places (Syria, Iraq, Iran) are too dangerous to travel to. At times, she’s lit in a way that her blonde hair radiates as if a halo making her seem even more angelic. Queen Of The Desert is a biographical drama released internationally in 2015 and finally the United States in 2017 about the life of a British woman explorer in the early years of the 20th century. I don't know if Werner Herzog wanted to make a Hollywood-style period romance, and it doesn't matter to me whether anyone else thinks he achieved creating one or not. Along the way you'll also run into a gritty dropout Lawrence of Arabia who comes on like a skateboarder in drag and a bungling caricature of Winston Churchill falling all over himself as he attempts to mount a camel worried mainly about his lit cigar that got dumped in the process. Early in “Queen of the Desert,” Gertrude Bell’s father recounts a story to her about her first words spoken as a child that encompasses the entirety of her identity and disposition. People are drawn to these kinds of stories not to see beautiful recreations of facts they can look up on Wikipedia but to take an intimate view on the human beings that made history. Times, Vulture, The Atlantic, and The Village Voice. Queen Of The Desert, review: Werner Herzog's film is like a feminist Lawrence of Arabia. In one of his books, he described him as completely clueless, arrogant and as a ruthless, dumb and incompetent creep. In addition to being the world's expert on both Sunni and Shiite relations before, during and after WWII, she was charged with drawing up the boundaries for modern day Iraq. To make long story short the director reflected his understanding of the ME based on orientalist concepts and not real facts. In terms of historical accuracy, there seemed to be a number of real clunkers. Based on the true story of Gertrude Bell, it brings history to life, even though it could have used a replacement for Nicole Kidman playing Gertrude as a young woman. Every obstacle Bell encounters melts too quickly in the face of her wit and intelligence. 438 reviews. Her biography was far more interesting than this tripe that the director wanted to go who knows where. "Queen of the Desert" — 1.5 stars MPAA rating: … But instead of hinging the emotional through-line on her ambition, proto-feminist leanings, or what made her so well-suited to navigating the tribal conflicts, the film focuses on the most prosaic aspect of this fascinating woman: her love life. Bell’s more interesting romantic entanglement that bookends the film is with Charles Doughty-Wylie (an intriguing Damian Lewis), a married British Army officer. A marvelous tale of an adventurous life of great historical import. This film tells the story of a British woman who travels around Arabia to understand the life in the vast desert. Archaeologist, mountain climber, poet, translator, linguist, explorer, diplomat, spy, (to name just a handful of her many accomplishments) and all in a time in which women were virtually prohibited from doing any of those things, for the most part, and in territories that even men of the time feared to tread. Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert is the least Herzogian film of his career. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) - Reviews & Comments. has with powerful men, as if that is enough. It isn't quite enough, though. She described her experience in one of her letters, according to A Woman in Arabia: The Writings of the Queen of the Desert. It is a modern account with elements that are reminiscent of an older style of cinema. 'Queen of the Desert' is, simply put, a very enjoyable adventure and, a representation of a strong, intelligent and formidable woman. Even in the worst films she’s committed to mining the trials of her characters to make a larger point about humanity. Written and Directed by Werner Herzog. Ambition, particularly for women, is a tricky attribute. At about the halfway mark I threw in the towel and just looked up the actual woman. A useful tool in the study of Gertrude who was the "Uncrowned Queen of the Desert who was divinely assigned to appoint Kings". I’d rather further explore Bell’s inquisitiveness than watch Kidman try (and fail) to convince us that she’s in enamored with James Franco, who plays the first love interest Henry Cadogan. It takes more than a sweeping score, beautiful cinematography, and drawn out narrative to make an engaging star vehicle. But it fell short in just about every way. From the epic “Gone with the Wind” to the intense “The Little Foxes,” classic Hollywood was able to create films that operated as lush, at times bombastic spectacles in order to showcase the strengths of their leading ladies. While the people around her cringingly toast to the British Empire with little care to the colonization that makes their wealth possible, Bell genuinely cares for the people she crosses in her travels through the Middle East. Queen of the Desert, 2015. This is a long, pretty uneventful boring movie. One of the biggest mistakes of “Queen of the Desert” is in not interrogating the, nature of Bell’s ambition. The band is Adam Roth (lead vocals, guitar), Sebastian Fritze (keys and vocals), Fredrik Eriksson (guitar), and Bill Delia (drums). She begins in Iran, where she meets poetry-loving Henry Cadogan (James Franco) and falls for him. 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