Wallis ("Wally") Winthrop (Abbie Cornish) of New York City, is stuck in a loveless marriage to a philandering doctor. She's obsessed with the story of Wallis Simpson and Edward VII (called "W.E.") and wonders what it was like to be so loved that a man would give up his crown for you. The movie jumps between the lives of the two Wallises following the royal romance and the end of Wally's marriage.
Visually, there's a lot to like: The sets are elaborate, the costumes elegant, and the 30s period is reproduced in lovely detail. The movie falls flat, however, for several reasons: The story jumps so quickly and randomly between the past and present that it's chaotic (and too much like "Julie and Julia"), also, constantly switching between modern film quality and faux-grainy newsreel film is annoying. None of the leading characters is likable, the royals being spoiled and self-centered and the NYC folks being relentlessly dreary. No new insights are given to the famous W.E. union and neither the royal story nor the modern story is developed in depth. None of the actors who play royals look much like their counterparts and, worst of all, the movie is just too grim.
Director/Writer Madonna wanted to make a story about Wallis and Edward, but when she added the modern- day Wallis' story, she watered down both and made neither interesting.
W.E. Written by Madonna and Alex Keshishian Directed by Madonna Starring Abbie Cornish, Andrea Riseborough, James D’Arcy and Oscar Isaac Wallis Simpson: You and I can only create disaster. “Disaster” is a word that I’ve heard easily thrown around regarding Madonna’s latest film, W.E.. With the notoriously despised film actress at the helm of the project, it almost seemed like I was hearing the word before people had even seen the film. To deem … more
Star Rating: Madonna’s W.E. is one of the slickest-looking misfires of recent memory. As a contemporary melodrama – with high romance, deep tragedy, and a manipulative plot that completely bypasses the roadblocks of plausibility – it doesn’t really deliver. As a showcase of costume design, makeup and hair, and art direction, it’s a triumph. Every frame drips with sophistication and glamor, as if made to resemble a photo spread in … more