Here’s our first look at Alex Ross Perry‘s Queen of Earth, the director’s bracingly effective follow-up to last year’s Listen Up Philip, a bitter, brilliant comedy starring Jason Schwartzman and Elisabeth Moss. The latter is back for Perry’s latest, starring as Catherine, a twenty-or-thirtysomething weathering the fallout of her famous-artist father’s death and a recent break-up, which lead her to take a vacation with close friend Virginia (Katherine Waterston) to her family’s lake house, where Virginia has started to date Richie (Patrick Fugit). The film will no doubt prove to be a hairpin turn for those expecting something similar to the pitch-black comedy of Listen Up Philip, or earlier works like Impolex and The Color Wheel, as Perry works more in the mold of a Ingmar Bergman or Roman Polanski joint here.
The trailer does an admirable job of winkingly setting up the difference in tone in Queen of Earth, cutting and presenting the trailer as if it were on a Grindhouse feature (“Elisabeth Moss As You’ve Never Seen Her!”). The footage also includes Moss’s unnerving, electrifying climactic harangue against Richie, which starts with a simple “you are worthless” and snowballs quickly. Indeed, Queen of Earth would qualify as one of the most emotionally lacerating and visceral visions of a psychological breakdown to ever be put on screen, and would qualify as one of the best movies to see release this year, at least for this writer.
Queen of Earth will be released in New York on August 26th. Here’s the trailer:
Check out the official synopsis from IFC below:
Catherine (Elisabeth Moss) has entered a particularly dark period in her life: her father, a famous artist whose affairs she managed, has recently died, and on the heels of his death she’s dumped by her boyfriend James (Kentucker Audley). Looking to recuperate, Catherine heads out to her best friend Virginia’s (Katherine Waterston) lake house for some much needed relaxation. However, once Catherine arrives relaxation proves impossible to find, as she is overcome with memories of time spent at the same house with James the year before. As Catherine reaches out to Virginia with attempts at connection, Virginia begins spending increasing amounts of time with a local love interest, Rich (Patrick Fugit), and fissures in the relationship between the two women begin to appear, sending Catherine into a downward spiral of delusion and madness. A bracing, eerie look at the deep bonds of friendship and the horrific effects of such bonds being frayed, Queen of Earth is a thrilling examination of a deeply complex relationship between two miserable women.