Directed by: Madonna
Starring: Abbie Cornish,
W.E. marks the feature-length
directorial debut of singer and entertainer Madonna, a film which tells
the story of a woman named Wally Winthrop (Cornish), who is fascinated
by the relationship of the late Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Edward VIII
(D’Arcy) and Wallis (Riseborough). Throughout the film, Wally beings to
experience events in her life which also occurred in Wallis’, leading
her to believe that their lives are surprisingly similar in comparison.
Being aware of the fact that Madonna is the director of W.E.
ultimately distracts from the film itself. The film is a mess in terms
of cinematography, with nearly every scene containing numerous changes
of angles and grainy filters, and both are completely unnecessary in the
context. The rhythmic change of shots is reminiscent of ones seen in a
music video; an obvious influence that Madonna has brought from her
music career into this film. The tempo of the changes just doesn’t work
with the emotions that the film is trying to portray.
Cornish’s portrayal of Winthrop is a mixed bag. When Winthrop is dealing
with the deteriorating relationship between her and her husband, it’s
easy to sympathise with her due to her believable performance. In other
scenes, Cornish’s acting is rather bland, creating a lack of interest in
her characters motives. Riseborough’s performance as Wallis Simpson is
admirable, but her attempt at an American accent is only subpar, causing
a few distractions from the story. Oscar Isaac’s character Evengi, a
Russian security guard, was my favourite character in W.E.,
creating some charming moments in an otherwise dark affair.
‘making of’ documentary is the only special feature included on the
Blu-ray. Surprisingly it is quite interesting to watch, with some decent
cinematography and interviews with the cast and crew, however Madonna
appears to have a lot more knowledge of the movie making industry than
what is depicted in the final product. It’s worth having a look if
W.E. is a difficult film to describe to someone. There’s just too
much focus on each story it ‘s trying to tell, resulting in some scenes
running longer than they should and making it difficult to determine the
film’s driving point until much later on. W.E. can be quite
confusing at times, ultimately making it a messy piece of filmmaking due
to the lacklustre directing by Madonna.
Stick to music, Madonna (if you really have to).