Our Rating: ★★★★½
L Factor: Minor lesbian character
Short Take: Drag queens on the road
Alternate Titles:
Year: 1994
Duration: 104 min
Language: Australia, UK/English
Director: Stephan Elliott
Writer: Stephan Elliott
Starring: Sarah Chadwick, Mark Holmes, Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce, Terence Stamp, Bill Hunter

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Priscilla Queen of the Desert

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert was an unlikely hit from Australia back in 1994. Two gay drag queens and a transsexual get a drag show gig in the isolated Outback and buy a bus to make their way there. We have Tick/Mitzi (Hugo Weaving, The Matrix, V for Vendetta, The Lord of the Rings) who is the organizer of the trip; party boy Adam/Felicia (Guy Pearce, The King’s Speech); and the grieving Bernadette (Terence Stamp, Star Wars The Phantom Menace), whose husband just passed away.

Along the way, the bus breaks down, and the group encounters prejudice and admirers, including some Aborigines who help find a mechanic. Even while stuck in the middle of nowhere, they practice performing, and the music is great (especially if you are an ABBA fan!). The costumes are over the top, and the film won the Oscar for Best Costume Design.

Tick makes a surprise revelation that the woman who booked the show is also his wife. Not only that, they have a young son that he is nervous about coming out to. It turns out that wife Marion (Sarah Chadwick) is very supportive of her gay husband. Son Benjamin (Mark Holmes) will be going back to the city with Tick for a stay and also tells his dad that Marion had recently been dating a woman. (AB)