This inspiring story of a nomad-turned-model is executed in the style of a made-for-TV movie.
Mature biopic has moving drama but lacks coherence.
| Original Score: 2/5
Waris' saga is one that needs to be told, but this well-meaning dramatization might have had more power if it were a documentary.
| Original Score: C+
Written and directed by German filmmaker Sherry Hormann, it works as well as it does because of the performances she's drawn from a solid cast.
| Original Score: 3/4
It has a compelling message and surrounds it with biopic scenes that appear to be brought in from a different kind of movie. The effect is rather unsettling.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Waris Dirie is an inspiration, inside and out, and so is this movie.
| Original Score: 3/5
A gripping, if uneven, cinematic journey.
The film's unabashed willingness to go from bleak topical piece on genital mutilation to guilty-pleasure glamour can be disconcerting.
| Original Score: 2/4
The broad comedy clashes with the movie's final message.
A stirring story that mixes personal horror, courage and eventually triumph.
"Desert Flower," a well-made film that depicts the remarkable life of the model Waris Dirie, manages to be both a classic feel-good story and about as far from a feel-good story as you can get.
| Original Score: 4/5
Good idea, mediocre presentation.
A lovely performance by Ethiopian supermodel-actress Liya Kebede as supermodel-activist Waris Dirie works wonders to elevate this uneven, occasionally awkward but often absorbing film.
Luckily, her cast makes up for the lapses, and Kebede is especially effective at showing how triumph over culturally sanctioned brutality remains a tentative prospect at best.
'Desert Flower' is a superbly told story with unapologetic conviction, noticeable fire, and the purest intentions of moving your soul. The first must-see movie of the year.
| Original Score: A
Desert Flower is just like Pretty Woman, if Pretty Woman were also about genital mutilation in Somalia (which I believe it originally was).
| Original Score: 2.5/5
A beautiful model bears eloquent witness to the butchery of female circumcision.
| Original Score: B+
It cannot get past the simplest of outlooks, with Waris as victim, survivor or star; there's little insight into she really is.