Queen of Earth DVD Review

    Actors: Elisabeth Moss, Patrick Fugit, Katherine Waterston
  • Director: Alex Ross Perry
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 22, 2015
  • Run Time: 90 minutes



            There are things about Queen of Earth that I appreciated, such as the narrative resemblance to psychological thrillers such as Ingmar Bergman’s Persona or Roman Polanski’s Repulsion and (to a lesser degree) Rosemary’s Baby. The trailer even has a stylistic resemblance to films in this sub-genre from the 1970s, despite the style being much more subdued in the actual film. Then there are aspects of the relationships in Queen of Earth that I was unable to appreciate, if only for the simple fact that I belong to the wrong gender.


            The film centers on the relationship between two women in their late twenties named Catherine (Elisabeth Moss) and Virginia (Katherine Waterston) who have been friends since childhood, though there is often a passive battle ensuing within every conversation they have. Switching back and forth between two different summers spent at the vacation home owned by Virginia’s wealthy family, we are given glimpses of each woman acting entirely self-involved and petty. Each has a summer to act annoyed that the other has a romantic partner with them rather than focusing on their friend.


            In the flashbacks it is Virginia who is disappointed that Catherine has brought her boyfriend on the vacation, voicing this as openly and often as possible. So when Catherine returns the next summer after having broken up with her boyfriend, she is annoyed to discover that Virginia has a casual relationship with a nearby neighbor named Rich (Patrick Fugit). Catherine spirals into a self-pitying bout of madness while staying with Virginia, which Rich eggs on in amusement. The reason that I said my gender inhibits my ability to understand this movie is because most men don’t quite appreciate the fact that women are adversarial within friendships, whereas most men would cut ties in a friendship containing as much seething animosity as Catherine and Virginia seem to have for each other.


            Most will also find Queen of Earth extraordinarily dull, because very little happens beyond self-involved spiraling into temporary madness. The narrative is simplistic and anything interesting that starts to happen is left ambiguous and uninvestigated. This type of film is rarely made anymore, which is why I appreciated it. But if I were to be honest, I also didn’t really enjoy it that much. The DVD special features include a commentary track with writer/director/producer Alex Ross Perry and producer/star Elisabeth Moss. Also included are a behind-the-scenes featurette and the film’s stylistic trailer.


    Entertainment Value: 4/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 7/10

    Historical Significance:  4/10

    Special Features: 5.5/10

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