Among the lesser known great films of last year was director Alex Ross Perry's Listen Up, Phillip, which featured Jason Schwartzman as an arrogant writer as his life fell apart. The film was a success thanks to its instinctive deconstruction of the writer's ego and how it actually makes it both a tragic comedy and a preventative decline. With a unique style, it is exciting to see him back this year with Queen of Earth, which co-stars Elisabeth Moss and Katherine Waterston in a film that looks very eerie and based on the first trailer, one of the most intense psychological dramas of the year.
With the end of Mad Men earlier this year, there's an interesting question that should be on everyone's mind: who is going to have the most success? While many would point to the always reliable Jon Hamm, who has appeared in various comedies as an effective force, I would like to bring to you another option: Moss. While Hamm has had more of a spotlight, I do think that Moss will inevitably have the more interesting career thanks to roles in the Sundance series Top of the Lake and various challenging films like The One I Love. It could just be that she is good at playing nuanced characters with a deep and creepy personality under the surface. Even then, her work has spoken nicely of her potential.
Then there's the aforementioned Listen Up, Phillip, which is among my favorites from last year. What makes it stand out is that Perry doesn't make a conventional-looking movie. In fact, it is very much a stylistic, retro film that incorporates narration and turns an average story into a complicated riddle on how writers perceive themselves. It is tragic as much as it is funny. It is also one of the most truthful depictions of writers I have ever seen. This is why I am excited about Queen of Earth, which is his follow-up and is sure to be just as fun. Based on the trailer alone, there's a continuing sense of narration present that may not entirely work, but it adds a personality to the trailer.
Check it out below:
Looks really good, doesn't it? Here's the plot description according to IMDb:
Two women who grew up together discover they have drifted apart when they retreat to a lake house together.
I want to preface and say that I don't expect this to have any Oscar chances, but I do think that it at least has a lot of promise. As someone who has enjoyed Moss on Mad Men, I have been enjoying her slow integration into indie film. They may not always be the best movies, but she brings her own charisma to them and makes me interested in what she does next. I am unsure if she will ever get into the Oscars hot seat, but I do think that she is definitely one to watch and Queen of Earth is going to be an intense psychological drama that will hopefully be worth your time. With Katherine Waterston also in tow, I think that things could be looking pretty good, especially since it seems like it is predominantly focusing on these two.