Wednesday, March 7, 2012
A glossy mess with no discernible point of view; a gluttonous feast of self-pity by women with a total lack of self-awareness - Andrea Chase Killer Movie Reviews
"W.E." is a mess, but it's certainly an attractive one; the characters are underdeveloped, yet so relentlessly art- directed that at least there's always something lovely to look at - Moira MacDonald
The film is intentionally stylized and glamorous. Wonderfully so, in my opinion. Would have been happy if it had won an Oscar for Costumes.
It doesn't set itself up to be a completely accurate biopic on the life and times and abdication of King Edward VIII (James D'Aarcy) for his American divorcée Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough). But rather the film is seen through the eyes of a present day young woman (Abbie Cornish) who was named after "The most despised woman of England", circa 1936.
The Wally of today is a bored lady of leisure, married to an insufferably arrogant and often absent husband. She finds her escape in the romance of this astounding period in history. Seeking solace in soon to be auctioned items from the Duke and Duchess of Windsor on display at Sothebys. Her reveries bring us into the past, where we see the story of Wallace and Edward come to life.
Although, I like the concept of moving back and forth in time, I feel the same way about it as I did Julie and Julia; I get so taken with the magic of the past, I don't want to be brought back to the happenings of the present.
Andrea Riseborough is completely captivating. If the real Wallis Simpson had half that much charisma, I can almost understand someone giving up their birth right for her.
I also couldn't help comparing W.E. to The King's Speech, where Simpson is portrayed as a cunning, ambitious witch. Completely opposite to the W.E. portrayal of Simpson as a woman who tries to run from her prince once things get scary.
I'll admit over the years, Madonna as an actress - more misses than hits, but as a writer/director - I hope to see more.