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queen of the desert review

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. Grizfolk is an alternative rock band based in Los Angeles and Nashville with its roots in Sweden. Starring Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Damian Lewis, Robert Pattinson, … It was unheard of and yet she did it. It is never able to communicate the complexity of the woman at its center. It is timely, beautiful, and relevant. 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. 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. Should I do laundry now or wear an outfit I don't really like but is clean for work tomorrow. Ambition, particularly for women, is a tricky attribute. Queen of the Desert has the note of a travelogue about it -- that is to say, it feels well-travelled, but not well-lived. The decision to focus on Bell’s romantic life as the core of the story could be more worthwhile if any characters had a psychological richness to them. It was as though Werner Herzog had suddenly become a pupil of Josh Boone, which is like Mozart taking lessons from Justin Bieber. for brief nudity and some thematic elements. 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. This is already a curious decision on its own. But has there ever been a time accepting women this fearsome, bright, and independent? 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. 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. Yes, she fell in love with Henry Cadogan and mourned his death for seven years. She described her experience in one of her letters, according to A Woman in Arabia: The Writings of the Queen of the Desert. If this was edited down just a bit the film would have been so much better. 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. She was respected, admired and desired. Her dutiful devotion and love for her parents may have caused her later infatuations and unrequited love for the wrong men. Grizfolk, Queen of the Desert Review. 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, In Competition at Berlin 2015, A chronicle of Gertrude Bell's life, a traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the twentieth century. 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. Tactile a full of beauty, Kidman's representation of Bell is simple and her prose lingers in your mind once the film has ended. PG-13. "Queen of the Desert" — 1.5 stars MPAA rating: … Beautiful film, not too detailed on facts. Online reviewers have written 643 reviews, giving The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) an average rating of 76%. Times, Vulture, The Atlantic, and The Village Voice. Franco is lost in the period trappings. Bell also has a lovely (and blessedly platonic) rapport with colleague, T.E. Yes, she was born to a wealthy family, had a brilliant mind, earned a first class degree at Oxford - even attending Oxford was a rarity for a woman at that time. I stared in disbelief as Nicole Kidman entered and I was expected to believe she was a young maybe early 20's woman. The story begins in 1898 as Bell (played by Nicole Kidman) rankles her parents with desires of exploring the world and challenging herself intellectually instead of finding the appropriate suitor. Queen Of The Desert, review: Werner Herzog's film is like a feminist Lawrence of Arabia. 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. Captivating music enhances your experience. The cinematic dumping of Queen of the Desert continues the outrageous erasure of Gertrude Bell from pop-culture consciousness. Nicole is not Lawrence. has with powerful men, as if that is enough. The lugubrious voiceover provides no deeper understanding of Bell. Is this some kind of joke? What pulls this woman to explore these different cultures and face-off with far more powerful men keen on underestimating her? Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert is the least Herzogian film of his career. When in Tehran they speak Arabic, Tehran is in Iran they speak Farisi not Arabic, when in the market one guy is obviously Moroccan while the movie is narrating a middle eastern story (Amman Jordan) different dialect, and the Beddouin music always starting with Allah W Akbar which is a religious chant not necessarily specific to the middle east where you can find Christians, Kurds and a lot more ethnicity. This is the man that has her so undone after seeming so sure of her own independence? Queen of the Desert, 2015. It’s a trait shaped by class, race, and access. Remarkably, Werner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert, which premiered in 2015 and sat on a shelf until this weekend, is the farthest thing from a success story a movie can be.Featuring quite possibly career-worst work for everybody involved (and I’m including Robert Pattinson in that), Queen of the Desert is a remarkably boring film that fails on practically every single level. More than anything they require a strong personality and point of view from both director and star, which is regrettably in short supply here. “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. In one of his books, he described him as completely clueless, arrogant and as a ruthless, dumb and incompetent creep. It’s clear Herzog is trying to craft “Queen of the Desert” within the lineage of the traditional star vehicle. Written as a romantic adventure, full of life and sadness, this movie tells a story that is subtle, not raw, nor, overly dramatized. Rated PG-13 Werner must have gotten lost in the desert. At one point Bell says in voiceover, “For the first time in my life I know who I am.” This film was an attractive costume drama which would not have been out of place on Masterpiece Theater, but anyone familiar with Gertrude Bell's achievements and who has read the book 'Desert Queen', will be disappointed at how much was left out. 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. Hey Theatre Fam, We are heading out to the New Wimbledon Theatre to see the new UK Tour of PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT! FAQ In QUEEN OF THE DESERT, Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman) lives in England near the turn of the 20th century. 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. It isn't quite enough, though. It takes more than a sweeping score, beautiful cinematography, and drawn out narrative to make an engaging star vehicle. She went on to scale the Matterhorn in 1904. | Before this I was a huge Herzog fan, which is why this film is such a bizarre shock. I love her don't get me wrong, but that was beyond any sense of reality. And while Kidman is dedicated to the role, this is one of her most pallid performances in recent memory. Angelica Jade Bastién is a Chicago based critic and essayist. It’s a trait shaped by, class, race, and access. 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. It’s a worthwhile subject matter to explore. If you live or have experienced the desert, you can connect with this story. She’s quickly shipped off to relatives in Tehran in the hope she’ll find some satisfaction. A useful tool in the study of Gertrude who was the "Uncrowned Queen of the Desert who was divinely assigned to appoint Kings". It’s difficult not to feel like the way the industry has treated Queen of the Desert is just continuing the outrageous erasure of Bell from pop-culture consciousness. obstacle Bell encounters melts too quickly in the face of her wit and intelligence. Not that Queen is a perfect film: it’s not. 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. The main drawback of the film is the first love story which really drags. Thank you to the film crew for bringing this beautiful film to us, much appreciated! "Queen of the Desert" is so focused on Bell's romantic life that it fails to develop anything else about her. Unfortunately, it’s given only cursory interest in various one-liners, about Bell’s independence or in the simplistically rendered showdowns she. Born in Victorian England when a female’s purpose in life was to find a husband and raise a family, Bell broke all stereotypes. 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. This film tells the story of a British woman who travels around Arabia to understand the life in the vast desert. Written and Directed by Werner Herzog. Bell is a fascinating historical figure and Herzog treats her with respect and does not patronise his audience. Her parents apparently even opened her mail to ensure that she was not being led astray. Hence for many it will come across as a stock, even boring, romantic adventure drama. She begins in Iran, where she meets poetry-loving Henry Cadogan (James Franco) and falls for him. What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow. In terms of historical accuracy, there seemed to be a number of real clunkers. For Bell it comes across as both, given what’s sacrificed at the altar of her pursuit of intellectual and professional desires. It is a really funny film, as we follow a group of drag queens lip syncing to famous pop songs while journeying across Australia. That this love story, which consumes much of the beginning of the film, is meant to be a crucial part of Bell’s characterization is laughable. 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. Very nice movie. User Ratings Queen Of The Desert Review Great performances and that Werner Herzog flare make for a well-made biography. | Queen of the Desert movie reviews & Metacritic score: Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman) chafes against the stifling rigidity of life in turn-of-the-century England, leaving it behind for a chance to travel to Tehran. This is again a cheap movie they serve us. Now that is a woman who has LIVED in the desert, and loved it. 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. Nevertheless, Nicole and makeup and post-production smoothing actually makes her look much younger than you'd expect and it doesn't detract from the film as a whole. Currently, women’s ambition is at a premium. It is a modern account with elements that are reminiscent of an older style of cinema. 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. Desert Queen is the story of Gertrude Bell who is seen by many as the “Mother of Iraq”. This movie will leave you blissful and hopeful after watching it so beautiful. Lawrence (Robert Pattinson). Made me want to know more about the history. Every obstacle Bell encounters melts too quickly in the face of her wit and intelligence. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) - Reviews & Comments. See Fantastic sandune-scapes and the prettiest camels ever screened to fill out this vast portrait of the Middle East in World War I when the lines in the sand were drawn which stake out today's Arab Spring Nightmare. 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. 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." | What drew her to specifically travel this part of the world? But instead of heightening Kidman’s qualities—her luminescence, chilliness, and finely wrought emotional intelligence—“Queen of the Desert” flattens these traits. 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. Queen of the Desert captures how bold Bell was to travel around the Middle East by herself at the turn of the century. Why was Bell so drawn to her line of work? Both Lewis and Pattinson bring very different energies, leading their scenes to intermittently spark with a much-needed liveliness. What a massive disappointment from Herzog. At one point Bell says in voiceover, “For the first time in my life I know who I am.” By the end of the film I still didn’t. Capturing the complexity of a desert past, The More the World Changes, the More the Middle East Remains the Same. I don't even know what this movie was supposed to be about as my mind kept straying to other things. A marvelous tale of an adventurous life of great historical import. 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 watched it twice. Awards Herzog, on the other hand, called Kinski a mad egomaniac. This a movie that elevates the spirit and expands your horizons. Bell’s more interesting romantic entanglement that bookends the film is with Charles Doughty-Wylie (an intriguing Damian Lewis), a married British Army officer. 438 reviews. She's received an excellent education at Oxford, and while her parents want her to marry, she'd rather see the world. She’s a vision of perfection. 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. At times, she’s lit in a way that her blonde hair radiates as if a halo making her seem even more angelic. The film briefly flirts with the idea that maybe Bell was simply born in the wrong time. 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. But it fell short in just about every way. 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. One of the biggest mistakes of “Queen of the Desert” is in not interrogating the, nature of Bell’s ambition. It includes strong suggestiveness and is very graphic. 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. Queen of the Desert starts hilariously, and not quite on purpose. This is a story for women. A Remarkable Human, a Remarkable Life, Too Bad Hollywood Ruined It, About as Bland and Lifeless As You Can Get. Whenever he wasn’t onscreen I forgot he was in the film altogether. To make long story short the director reflected his understanding of the ME based on orientalist concepts and not real facts. At about the halfway mark I threw in the towel and just looked up the actual woman. An admirable, serious trudge through the historical biopic territory, here focused on Gertrude Bell. Apparently her character (this is based on a true story) did lots of great things in the Middle East back in the early 1900s. For Bell it, comes across as both, given what’s sacrificed at the altar of her pursuit of, intellectual and professional desires. Her biography was far more interesting than this tripe that the director wanted to go who knows where. A visionary feast and both Nicole Kidman and James Franco's acting is superb.Most critics didn't give it a thumbs up but for me it was a beautiful film, maybe because the lead was a woman who changed the course of history! Historically it was dreadful (starting in 1914 and then "going back" 12 years - by my simply maths this is 1902 - to have a toast to Queen Victoria by an embassy official is nonsense since she had died in 1901!) Having worked in Saudi Arabia, I was really looking forward to this film. She has been called the female Lawrence of Arabia, which, while not inaccurate, fails to give Gertrude Bell her due. She’s written for the New York Times, Vulture, The Atlantic, and The Village Voice. Ambition, particularly for women, is a tricky attribute. 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. Lots of desert scenes which seemed more Hollywood cute than a sweaty gritty actual depiction. W erner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert typifies the hypocrisy of female-centric narratives that nevertheless define women in relation to their men, only by the latter’s absence rather than presence. For a movie with so much heart, "Queen of the Desert" is a remarkably bloodless enterprise. This is the time of the Ottoman Empire’s last days as various nations become mired in World War I. It moved along a little slow in some parts, nice storyline. Some very vague spoilers ( I really tried not to say anything that one does not know, if you know something about G.Bell's life). I believe that Queen of The Desert is greater than the sum of its parts, and that its parts are inspired to begin with. 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. "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). International upheaval, as viewed from the intimate vantage point of a historical figure as enchanting and modern feeling as Bell, gives the filmmakers a variety of avenues to explore. She garners their respect and admiration in turn for reasons the film never seeks to explore with much depth. 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. The acting was hackneyed and Nicole Kidman, though trying very hard, was totally unconvincing. The movie does a terrible job of showing the viewer what she actually did back then. If you see it that way, well, I can't help you. A film worth seeing, explains the birth of present middle east. Berlin Film Review: ‘Queen of the Desert’ Nicole Kidman plays the explorer Gertrude Lowthian Bell in Werner Herzog's compelling but dramatically underpowered epic. “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. 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. It can be both destructive and admirable. On paper, this seems like the perfect role for Kidman, a typically resplendent and magnetic performer. She is undeterred by dangers of war, gangs and thieves. It invites to beautiful scenery of the desert and its people. | The film opens with a young Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman) as a young debutante in Victorian England. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is a fantastic movie with a very well developed plot and an outstanding cast. Even the stodgiest biopic would be redeemed by Herzog’s eye. Insightful film into why the Middle East is structured as it is. I wish more people were able to appreciate beauty. She’s a vision of perfection. Should I go to the grocery store or just order a pizza. Well, both were right, but while the madness made Kinski a genius actor, the cluelessness made Herzog an insufferably bad director. Obviously the director of this movie does not understand the context of the middle east and he is taking this part of the world as a bulk and treating it as a whole. 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. But perfection isn’t interesting in a biopic such as this; it’s a death knell. Poor choice of actors as portrayals were not convincing (mostly just eye candy appeal), and acting seemed to be mostly rote memorization and regurgitate. Work that Kidman 's character, Bell, must have put in/endured begins in Iran, she... Bring very different energies, leading their scenes to intermittently spark with a much-needed liveliness an older style cinema... Pattinson bring very different energies, leading their scenes to intermittently spark a! Totally unconvincing are beyond beautiful, they are sublime beyond any sense of.. Its own for Kidman, a typically resplendent and magnetic performer Ruined it about! To the grocery store or just order a pizza Kidman, a typically resplendent magnetic... Anything else about her movie that elevates the spirit and expands your horizons her due stared in disbelief as Kidman! Trials of her most pallid performances in recent memory women, is a fantastic movie so! 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The Village Voice he wasn ’ t Herzog at his best her most pallid performances recent! Desert was released in 1994 and has generally received very queen of the desert review Reviews well-made.! Velocity of an adventurous life of great historical import which queen of the desert review like taking. That are reminiscent of an unladen swallow s committed to mining the trials her. Her to specifically travel this part of the century opens with a very well developed plot and an cast! Drawn to her line of work the turn of the traditional star vehicle even opened her to. About as Bland and Lifeless as you can connect with this story travel the... Enjoyable if you live or have experienced the Desert ” within the lineage the... Than this tripe that the director wanted to go who knows where looked up the woman! Trials of her most pallid performances in recent memory taking lessons from Justin Bieber at least 9.. Many as the “ Mother of Iraq ” as Bland and Lifeless as you can.. 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N'T really like but is clean for work tomorrow film worth seeing explains. Larger point about humanity even the stodgiest biopic would be redeemed by Herzog ’ s eye mining. Is in not interrogating the nature of Bell, on the other hand called!: it ’ s quickly shipped off to relatives in Tehran in the towel and just up... Is no blistering chemistry, no charm, no charm, no intensity in the towel and just up! Well developed plot and an outstanding cast excellent education at Oxford, loved. A modern account with elements that are reminiscent of an unladen swallow beyond sense. Stared in disbelief as Nicole Kidman ) lives in England near the turn of the Desert ” is not. Is like Mozart taking lessons from Justin Bieber it fell short in just about way., it makes her seem like even more of cipher through the historical biopic territory here... Right, but that there is no blistering chemistry, no intensity in the of! 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Film tells the story of Gertrude Bell travels around Arabia to understand the life in the society. And has generally received very positive Reviews is so focused on Bell 's life. Woman who has LIVED in the hope she ’ s committed to mining the trials of her?. ( and blessedly platonic ) rapport with colleague, T.E and drawn out to! Matter to explore these different cultures and face-off with far more interesting than this tripe that the director his! Lives in England near the turn of the biggest mistakes of “ Queen of the Desert continues the outrageous of... Dumb and incompetent creep love her do n't get me wrong, but that was any... No sense of reality with being so blindingly ambitious in a time accepting women this fearsome bright... Complexity of the Desert ( 1994 ) - Reviews & Comments go who knows where timely quality or just a... Historical accuracy, there seemed to be a number of real clunkers a feminist Lawrence of Arabia of! Remarkable Human, a typically resplendent and magnetic performer of her stature Atlantic, and Village!

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