The new trailer for Werner Herzog’s Queen Of The Desert traces the journeys of Gertrude Bell, a writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the turn of the 20th century. Played with fiery determination by Nicole Kidman, Bell feels suffocated by British high society, where she is warned not to scare men with her intelligence. She eventually escapes to the Middle East, the hot spot for white people who feel oppressed. Sure, handsome men are still trying to own her in the desert—James Franco insists that they “belong to each other,” ugh—but at least these fellas share some common interests with Bell.
Along the way, she also encounters Homeland’s Damian Lewis and Robert Pattinson as T. E. Lawrence, the only guy not treating the desert like one big, sticky singles bar. Speaking of Lawrence, the trailer makes the film look more like a classic David Lean epic than an idiosyncratic Herzog tale, but maybe the former is a better fit for subject matter already tailor-made for an Oscar.
Queen Of The Desert has no U.S. release date yet, but is apparently “coming soon.”