This inspiring story of a nomad-turned-model is executed in the style of a made-for-TV movie.
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
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
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
It cannot get past the simplest of outlooks, with Waris as victim, survivor or star; there's little insight into she really is.
Mature biopic has moving drama but lacks coherence.
| Original Score: 2/5
Good idea, mediocre presentation.
The broad comedy clashes with the movie's final message.
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+
A stirring story that mixes personal horror, courage and eventually triumph.
| Original Score: 3/5
'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
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.
A gripping, if uneven, cinematic journey.
A beautiful model bears eloquent witness to the butchery of female circumcision.
| Original Score: B+
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
"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
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.
Waris Dirie is an inspiration, inside and out, and so is this movie.