Prime Video movie of the day: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert still absolutely slays

Prime Video movie of the day: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert still absolutely slays

Remember how good Barbie made you feel with its brilliant mix of comedy and camp? Priscilla got there first. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is notable for many reasons: it’s one of very few movies named after a bus, for starters. But it’s also one of the most joyous road movies you’ll ever see, a bona-fide camp classic with big laughs and an even bigger heart. Not only was it one of the best Prime Video movies for Pride month, it’s one of the best Prime Video movies for anyone who wants some warm-hearted fun.

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert | Official Trailer | Park Circus – YouTube


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It’s hard to believe that this movie came out – pun fully intended – 35-years-ago because it still feels fresh (and in the current reactionary climate, timely too). Guy Pearce (Momemto) and Hugo Weaving (The Matrix) are drag queens who team up with a trans woman played by Terence Stamp to journey from Sydney to Alice Springs in the titular tourbus. Adventures ensue, tea is spilt, and nails and hearts are broken.

Radio Times‘ David Parkinson loved it. “Brilliantly bitchy, fabulously photographed and wonderfully played, this Australian frock opera (the costumes won a well-deserved Oscar) addresses serious issues with satirical accuracy and profound insight.” And for Variety’s David Stratton, its sheer joie de vivre more than compensated for any shortcomings. “The plot of Priscilla isn’t as important as the outlandish, wicked dialogue, the wild costumes and makeup, and the general high spirits of the entire enterprise.” It’s “a cheerfully vulgar and bitchy, but essentially warmhearted, road movie”.

It does stumble a bit, the Chicago Tribune said in a review that isn’t currently online, but “it is funny and compassionate, silly and sweet”. Entertainment Weekly agreed, saying that “I wasn’t prepared for the generosity and gorgeousness with which Aussie writer-director Stephan Elliott turn this most unlikely road picture into something arresting – if a tad sentimental – in its naive vision of a perfectly tolerant world.”

Revisiting the movie in 2019, The Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw said that it’s “a tremendous film that was ahead of its time on LGBT issues and, in some ways, is ahead of ours… [it’s a] funny, smart and intensely lovable road-trip comedy – an anti-Crocodile Dundee.”

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