Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss Moves On in 'Spectacular' Way
She plays a woman unraveling in Queen of Earth
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2015 1:53 PM CDT

(Newser) – Ever wonder what a psychological breakdown looks like up close? See for yourself in Queen of Earth from Alex Ross Perry. It follows two friends, one of whom has recently lost her father to suicide and her lover to another woman. Here's what critics are saying:

  • Queen of Earth is a "startling, razor-sharp thriller" that might solidify Perry as "the most skillful young writer-director working in the United States today," writes Calum Marsh at Village Voice. "Largely a chamber piece for two women—Katherine Waterston and Elisabeth Moss, both excellent in hugely demanding roles—the film also welcomes, and indeed earns, Persona comparisons. This is vigorous, frightening, electrifying stuff."
  • Scott Tobias at NPR was rapt all the way through. The film focuses on the "thorny relationship" between Catherine (Moss) and Virginia (Waterston) over a week. It "isn't a thriller per se, but it has the tension and atmosphere of one, only with emotional violence substituting for the physical kind," he writes. "Catherine's deterioration feels dread-soaked and dangerous, and it happens with the agonizing deliberateness of a suspense director pulling the strings."

  • Waterston "easily holds your attention," but it's Moss, "with her intimate expressivity, who annihilates you from first tear to last crushing laugh," writes Manohla Dargis at the New York Times. She's "sensational," and "brings tremendous depth of feeling" to her difficult role, Dargis adds. As for the movie, it's "alternately mesmerizing and suffocating … bringing you uncomfortably close to the action ... only to shove you away."
  • Joe Neumaier agrees "this is Moss' show." She's "excellent as a woman whose mind is unraveling" in a film that "burrows so deep into a psyche that it's scary." The "intense" work "may seem minor but is more than memorable" as it explores "memory, relationships and codependency, between both friends and lovers," he writes at the New York Daily News.

 

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