|QUEEN OF EARTH (director/writer: Alex Ross Perry; cinematographer: Sean Price Williams; editor: Robert Greene; music: Keegan DeWitt;; cast: Elisabeth Moss (Catherine), Katherine Waterston (Virginia), Patrick Fugit (Rich), Kentucker Audley (James), Keith Poulson (Keith), Kate Lyn Sheil (Michelle), Craig Butta (Groundskeeper); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Elisabeth Moss, Alex Ross Perry, Joe Swanberg, Adam Piotrowicz; IFC; 2015)|
|"A sensually photographed and
intriguing, tart psychological thriller, that
sets an eerie mood tone."
by Dennis Schwartz
sensually photographed and intriguing, tart
psychological thriller, that sets an eerie mood tone.
It's wonderfully written and directed by Alex Ross
Perry ("Listen Up Philip"), a former clerk in
Kim's video store in Manhattan. It takes its style
from doppelganger narratives like Bergman’s
“Persona” and Brian De Palma’s “Sisters”. While
Perry cited Woody Allen’s “Interiors” as being
a major influence.
shell-shocked Catherine (Elisabeth Moss) spends a
week of self-imposed “exile” in the serene Hudson
River Valley of upstate NY, at the luxurious lake
house of her smug upper-crust best friend, Virginia
(Katherine Waterston), following the
suicide of her wealthy pampering famed artist father
and a bad split with her longtime boyfriend James
(Kentucky Audley). Catherine
sleeps through the day and when awake complains of
undetected pain in her face, which may be psychosomatic.
was an assistant to her father, and tries
painting a portrait of her imposing unfriendly
friend. Through flashback we re-visit a year earlier
when a much more jolly Catherine last visited her
friend and was in love with her laid-back boyfriend
in the present, it's now Virginia who is in love and
under the influence of Rich (Patrick
Fugit), the boy next door.
He at one point receives the contempt of Catherine,
as she irrationally targets him as the cause of why
the world sucks.
builds, as we think these trapped characters are
moving into dark things and tragedy awaits them.
What they all have in spades, is they know how to
push the most delicate buttons of their friends to
get them off their game.
a well-realized drama about the psychologically
wounded trying to get over their debilitating hurt
while locked into a hostile environment, where
friends begin, in close quarters, hating each
other even though they understand each other so well
and could be of help.
REVIEWED ON 3/8/2016 GRADE: A-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ