It’s now been over a year since Werner Herzog unveiled “Queen Of The Desert” at the Berlin Film Festival, and while it has played a small handful of festivals since, and opened in some foreign territories, the picture has mostly been under the radar. But let’s hope the arrival of this new trailer means that a big-screen release is on the horizon.
Starring Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Damian Lewis, and Robert Pattinson, the film tells the story of Gertrude Bell, the British explorer, traveler, archaeologist, and political officer who played a key role in Middle East politics in the 1920s, during the last days of the Ottoman Empire. It’s potentially powerful stuff, but as our review notes, “the film does a disservice to the real Bell” by telling her tale in “a movie bracketed by romance.” Here’s the synopsis:
A true story of the life of British explorer and adventurer, Gertrude Bell, QUEEN OF THE DESERT chronicles her journeys of love and loss in the Middle East during the early 20th century.
Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman (THE PAPERBOY, RABBIT HOLE, AUSTRALIA, THE HOURS) stars alongside Academy Award nominated James Franco (SPRING BREAKERS, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, 127 HOURS), Golden Globe & Emmy Award winner Damian Lewis (“Homeland”, KEANE, “Band of Brothers”), and Robert Pattinson (THE ROVER, MAPS TO THE STARS, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS) . A curious and adventurous young woman eager to explore the world outside of England, Gertrude Bell (Kidman) goes to the British embassy in Tehran where she quickly falls in love with a secretary of the embassy, Henry Cadogan (Franco). This sparks the beginning of a life-long adventure among the beautiful but misunderstood peoples and cultures of the Middle East. Along the way, her path intersects with archaeologist T.E. Lawrence (Pattinson) also known as Lawrence of Arabia, and Major Charles Doughty-Wylie (Lewis), the British Consul General in the Ottoman Empire.
The story of QUEEN OF THE DESERT is based on the true-life story of Gertrude Bell, who was a British political officer and archaeologist but ultimately a trailblazer on her terms. The story details the extraordinary adventures of Bell wrestling with the conflicts of love and tragedy, enemy and friend, and foreign and familiar as she sought to understand and unify people from different cultures.
No exact release date, but look for “Queen Of The Desert” in cinemas this year.