Werner Herzog’s films aren’t normally known for their strong elements of romance; mouth-to-human-contact in Grizzly Man, for instance, was less about kissing, and more about being eaten by a bear. Which makes it a little surprising to watch the trailer for the director’s new historical epic, Queen Of The Desert, and see how many famous fellas are trying to plant one on Nicole Kidman’s stately lips.
Kidman plays Gertrude Bell, the influential writer, archaeologist, and spy, who worked with T.E. Lawrence—played here by a doe-eyed Robert Pattinson—to radically shift the balance of power in the Middle East at the dawn of the 20th century. From the trailer, though, it seems like that very complicated process was mostly a matter of riding on horses, having stern conversations with doughy Brits, and sharing flirty looks with guys like James Franco and Homeland’s Damian Lewis. Kidman is giving it her alternatively icy and fiery best, but there’s only so much she can do when every dude in her life is either telling her “no,” or trying to shove his Franco-tongue down her throat.
Still, this is a Werner Herzog film, so fans of gorgeously shot rolling expanses of sand and the raw brutality of nature are in for a treat. Plus, it’ll give Paul F. Tompkins something to talk about the next time he slips into his wonderful Herzog impression on Comedy Bang! Bang!, which is always a plus.