Nicole Kidman takes the lead in "Queen of the Desert" about the life of Gertrude Bell, who during the era of World War I, took the unconventional stance to live life her way and explore the Middle East.
Bell, born into Victorian England aristocracy, was a child/young woman who always forged her own path. Kidman masterfully played up Bell’s angst to see the world and often-resisted intelligence.
After some prodding, she received the blessing of her father to leave and made her way to Tehran — a trip that would fuel her lifelong goal of travel and exploration. Throughout her travels of the Middle East, Bell went on to become a trusted source of information for the British Empire and a trusted and understanding visitor to the people of the Arab world.
Being a woman and also unmarried wasn’t an easy task to defeat, especially during the Victorian era, but Kidman’s portrayal of Bell’s tenacity came across very well on screen. It did leave me to wonder, however, just how true to the time period it was.
Joining Kidman in the film are James Franco, Damian Lewis, Robert Pattinson and Jay Abdo. Most of the acting was convincing, but something seemed a bit off with the pacing of the film and the true overall message of the direction. While the scenery was magnificent (it was shot on location in Morocco and Jordan), that wasn’t enough to propel this into a must-see.
If you love period films and are interested in Bell’s life, this might interest you.