Excerpt: For most of her life, New Yorker Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish) has been obsessed with the relationship between Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough) and King Edward VIII, who had to abdicate his throne for the love of the American divorcee. As she oversees a Sotheby auction of some of their belongings, Wally's tumultuous marriage gets increasingly more abusive, so she decides to lose herself in their romantic story.
Excerpt: The title stems from the initials of the main historical figures depicted in this film, namely Wallis “Wally” Sampson (Riseborough) and Prince Edward (D’Arcy) of Wales. The latter abdicated the throne of England for the former, an American divorcee, and was exiled from his home country as a result. But it’s their love affair and, more specifically, Wally’s perspective on it all that compels the broader film.
Conclusion: How fitting that the world's collective response to Madonna's W./E. was precisely what the title translates to in Internet slang. You might have suspected that some of the film's scathing criticism was a kneejerk reaction to the overconfident award season positioning of a powerful pop singer's vanity project. But W./E. is not just bad enough to miss out on year-end best-of lists and award recognition.
Excerpt: W.E. , essentially, tells the story of a grand real life fairy tale, wherein the common woman marries the king whom becomes so infatuated with her, he gives up the throne. Cue a sequel called The King’s Speech . Well, sort of. In essence, it’s a happy, vivid tale that would make a female audience giddy with excitement, much like Wallis Simpson and Edward did during their public relationship.
Conclusion: Set aside any preconceived notions about a period Drama/Romance directed by a Pop legend, or take the name "Madonna" out of the equation entirely, and see that W.E. shows promise, that there's a fair picture -- or maybe two good ones -- to be enjoyed. The film as it is takes too long to develop and it never really solidifies any single aspect insofar as its thematic structure is concerned.
Summary: This movie isn't as tragic as critics are making it out to be. It's stylishly done, well-acted, the costumes were brilliant and the music was practically a character within itself. If only the plot weren't such a mess.
Excerpt: It’s easy to see what might have attracted writer-director Madonna (who has also been known to dabble in music) to the story of twice-divorced American-turned-Duchess-Of-Windsor Wallis Simpson, a woman of modest means who reached rarified heights of fame and infamy and inspired a constitutional crisis when she wooed the then-king of England (he abdicated) through guile, ambition, and fierce, intensely focused sexuality.