Queen of Earth
Alex Ross Perry’s latest directing venture takes a step away from the traditional humour that has defined his previous works, and takes a darker, more psychological approach.
The narrative in itself is not particularly new or challenging – two women come together for a holiday to escape from the recent hardships they have faced, and discover how little they really knew about each other – but what sets this film apart from the others is the way it is dealt with. Elizabeth Moss’ acting in particular stands out: she portrays all elements of Catherine’s turmoil in such a way that audiences still secretly will her on. The film mostly follows a linear narrative, with a few flashbacks to the previous year in order to set up some significant twists.
Both of the main characters – Catherine and Virginia – are afforded many layers and complexities to their personalities, and we can clearly see the impact recent events have had. Even amidst the growing drama, their bond is clear and real, and Moss and Waterston’s abilities play a large part in the reality of this on-screen.
As well as the acting, the score and cinematography play a large part in what makes Queen of Earth work so well. The haunting minimalist score, arranged by Keegan DeWitt, evokes palpable tension in the narrative, keeping the audience in suspense as the film progresses. Sean Price Williams’ cinematography succeeds in prolonging this tension through a series of uncomfortable close-ups, whilst also making use of the lake house setting in a way that is both ominous and pleasing.
Perry’s great skill throughout this film is his ability to portray the building tension and suspense as the narrative reaches a climax, but in a way that still allows the very human story to be told. This may not be top pick for fans of action and adventure, but the humanity and struggle in the story will be relatable in some way to all members of the audience.
Queen of Earth is released in selected cinemas on 1st July 2016.
Watch the trailer for Queen of Earth here: