Top critical review
A whitewash - Bell was an Arab Bureau spy like Lawrence not some desert flaneur
12 December 2018
What was Hertzog thinking other than 'Payday!'? This film is a schizoid mash of The English Patient and Lawrence of Arabia. It pretends to condemn the excesses of the British Empire (see East India Company, or just 'The Company') and portray Gertrude Bell and TE Lawrence as rebels when these people were establisment figures and intelligence agents who, along with Winston Churchill, deliberately hoodwinked the Arabs into a settlement before and after the Cairo Conference in 1921. Nicole Kidman's performance is frankly dreadful. James Franco does a fine job, but in another bad film - and he must have been relieved when his character committed suicide by cliff early on.