Queen of Earth | Elisabeth Moss mesmerises as a woman over the verge of a nervous breakdown

Queen of Earth Elisabeth Moss as Catherine Hewitt

Queen of Earth Elisabeth Moss as Catherine Hewitt

Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss delivers an electrifying performance as a woman in the throes of a mental breakdown in the claustrophobic, emotionally intense psychodrama Queen of Earth.

The mood is akin to Ingmar Bergman’s Persona or Roman Polanski’s Repulsion. So don’t watch expecting a barrel of laughs. You might, though, detect hints of dark comedy.

Moss’s Catherine has come to visit her childhood friend Ginny (Katherine Waterston) at her wealthy family’s remote lake house, seeking solace after being ditched by her boyfriend in the wake of her artist father’s suicide.

"A Job’s comforter"

Slim hope. A Job’s comforter if ever there was, the snippy Ginny, abetted by sardonic neighbour Rich (Patrick Fugit), only adds to Catherine’s pain.

No one in writer-director Alex Ross Perry’s film is remotely likeable, which may be a turn off for some viewers. But Moss is mesmerising, and the less showy Waterston proves a worthy foil.

Certificate 15. Runtime 90 mins. Director Alex Ross Perry

Queen of Earth debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere on Sunday 30 April. Available on Blu-ray/DVD from Eureka!


Jason Best

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.