The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Stephan Elliott, 1994) wr. Stephan Elliott; Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce; 98 min.

This is Elliott's masterpiece (in both senses). Frauds is a very good film, brilliantly plotted and executed, but lacking in empathy: I don't care about any of the characters, neither the exploited nor the villain. Priscilla hits all the marks. It is implausible and outrageous, but it's also something with which anyone who has been the least bit marginalised can relate to. And it was a great success.

One of the ABBA films: amazing that there are three* (including Hallstrom's doco about the actual band, and not counting the Mamma Mias). This has flair—and flares—and won an Oscar for Best Costume Design for Lizzy Gardiner and Tim Chappel.

I guess the scenes of homophobic hostility in the movie are obligatory, but the writer-director, Stephan Elliott, doesn't seem to have his heart in them, and I wonder if he would have been happy to make the whole story as lighthearted as his best scenes. It's too bad that the requirements of plotting require movies like this to crank up the event count, when actually what works is just the daily minutiae of Bernadette's life. Roger Ebert.

* The other ABBA films are:

ABBA: The Movie (Lasse Hallstrom, 1978)

Muriel's Wedding (P.J. Hogan, 1994)


Garry Gillard | New: 7 November, 2012 | Now: 20 July, 2018