Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Queen of Earth Review

On paper it doesn't sound very exciting, does it? A film about two women visiting a lake house, a means to get away from it all. Two best friends escaping the world only to realize what they really need to escape is each other. The destruction of a deeply personal and formerly meaningful relationship before our eyes. Sounds exhausting.

Yet somehow, through all the anguish and the tears and the hatred, I wasn't exhausted at all by the time Queen of Earth came to an end. It's a picture that is small in scope yet enormous and heavy thanks to the emotionally charged, outstanding performances from Katherine Waterston and especially Elisabeth Moss. I couldn't take my eyes off of them even as the dialogue became harder and harder to listen to. When the psychological nightmares were playing out in the frame, I was still marveling in the glow of actors working at the top of their game. 

While I am floored by Elisabeth Moss and her difficult-yet-delightful to watch turn here, raving about her isn't meant to discredit the outstanding work by the film's director, Alex Ross Perry. It isn't a sign of a lack of talent that he created cinema that thrives due to its performances, quite the opposite actually. It's a sign that a man had a vision for the kind of film he wanted to make and he knew exactly how to execute it, filming and framing these damaged characters with such confidence and finesse that it allowed them to shine even brighter. 

Queen of Earth is so masterfully done from start to finish, I actually watched it over a week ago and yet just having the opportunity to put a few words down is allowing me to relive the tension and the palpable uneasiness that lingers over scene after scene after scene. 

Just two women in a lake house, a means to get away from it all.

Sounds exhausting. Perhaps it is, but that doesn't mean you won't be glad you saw it.


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