Alex Ross Perry is a name you may not be familiar with but he’s lauded by many film critics as something of a wunderkind. However, his films have not really generated the same reaction at the box office, only getting limited theatrical releases. The Color Wheel and Impolex may not be familiar to most but with his last outing Listen Up Philip and his new film Queen of Earth he’s gradually reaching a wider audience.
Shortly after Catherine’s (Elisabeth Moss) father dies long-term boyfriend James (Kentucker Audley) breaks up with her. With the two men she relied on leaving her life so suddenly, Catherine is struggling to cope. Her best friend, Virginia (Katherine Waterston), invites her to spend a week at the family’s rural cabin. Virginia invites her neighbour Rich (Patrick Fugit) along but Catherine blames him for coming between them. In a similar way James did a year earlier.
The fist thing to note about Queen of Earth is that it won’t be a film for everyone. It’s miserable, to say the least, and requires a lot of patience. However, Elizabeth Moss is incredible; her face is often the intense focus of Perry’s signature close-up shots. Katherine Waterston is also superb and it’s the relationship between Catherine and Virginia which holds the film together. In the end, there’s only so much bleakness one can take.
Queen of Earth is released on dual format Blu-ray and DVD by Eureka Entertainment as part of their Masters of Cinema collection on Monday.