- Language: English
- Region: Region A/1
- Number of discs: 3
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- ASIN: B0059XTV7Q
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #117,949 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
NEW Cornish/riseborough - W.e. (Blu-ray)
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Top customer reviews
So you would THINK that even Madonna could wring a decent dramatic movie out of the woman. Some passion, some intensity, some controversy... SOMETHING. But "W.E." ends up being a choppy, jumbled affair that leaves you desperately hoping for something other than total fluff. And you never, ever get it.
It's not actually the story of Wallis herself, but of Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish), the wife of a wealthy doctor in present-day New York. Wally's husband neglects her (he's obviously having an affair) and doesn't want to have a baby with her, so she wanders to Sotheby's to ogle the for-sale possessions of the legendary Duchess of Windsor.
She also falls in love with an attentive Russian guard after a savage beatdown by her husband. For some reason, she also starts... hallucinating? Seeing visions? Communing with the ghost of Wallis?
Well, whatever happened, she starts seeing Wallis' (Andrea Riseborough) past -- her introduction to the Prince of Wales (James D'Arcy), the affair that sprang up, the glamorous life they had together, and his obsessive love for her that led him to abdicate, even though Wallis was desperate for him not to do so.
Anyone expecting a semi-balanced depiction of Wallis and Edward should keep looking, because "W.E." is basically a cinematic fanfic written by a starry-eyed Wallis fangirl. Wallis and Edward are shiny, perfect, idealized dolls who are everything noble and glamorous, and anyone who dislikes them is just a mean ol' hater who irrationally loathes poor wittle Wallis.
In fact, Madonna is so wedded to this depiction that she either ignores (Wallis' other affairs, her botched abortion) or dismisses (Nazi sympathies) every imperfection that either of them had. She tries to justify it with a cache of fictional "secret" letters, but it all rings hollow.
Sadly, the rest of the movie is all flashy, glamorous prettiness with no substance. Madonna's direction is a constant assault of choppy, fragmented edits -- for instance, an intimate kiss between Wallis and Edward is interrupted by a random pan right up a palm tree. The most surreal? A drug-fueled scene where Wallis hikes up her dress and does a suggestive dance with another woman... IN FRONT OF A CROWD.
And on the rare occasions when Madonna DOES try to give us a deep emotional moment, it comes across as artificial and clumsy ("People seem to only focus on what he gave up for her. But what about what she gave up?"). It's like a teenage "Twilight" fan directed this.
As the final indignity, Wallis' complex story is just window-dressing for the story of Wally. Madonna tries to ram the "similarities" down our throat (Wally's rotten husband is referred to as "our own Prince of Wales"), but in the end there is almost nothing in common between these two women. So, they're alike because their marriages didn't work? That's all? Who CARES about Wally?
The actors... well, they do the best they can. Cornish is stiff and awkward, but Riseborough and D'Arcy do the best they can with their flimsily perfect characters. Unfortunately, the awful direction makes their dramatic scenes look ridiculous -- when Wallis runs into her bedroom to cry, Madonna manages to make the act of RUNNING look artificial.
"W.E." was booed at Cannes, and rightfully so -- it's a clumsy, hackneyed story that shows that Madonna is as bad a director as she is an actress. Stick with "Edward & Mrs. Simpson" for a more skilled, nuanced depiction.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
WALLIS IN NEW YORK, ESPECIALLY...AND I TOLD MYSELF I WOULD GET FULL RELIEF BECAUSE THE YOUNG MAN @ SOTHEBY'S WOULD DO A GOOD JOB AND BRING THAT ''''W.E.'''' LOVE TO HER AND WE WOULD GET TO COMPLETE THE PASSION OF ENGLAND'S KING WHO GAVE UP A CROWN AND A LIFE'S INCOME TO HAVE THE WOMAN HE 'WANTED ....AND THEN SUFFER SOME OF HIS LIFE FEELING INSECURE BECAUSE OF IT. AFTER ALL.... HE LOVED THE PEOPLE OF ENGLAND TOO. MAYBE HE WAS JUST A '''LOVING MAN'''.
WE DIDN'T GET ENOUGH OF THE '''W.E.'''' STORY IN NEW YORK.. (HE WAS SUCH A GREAT MASCULINE FELLOW AND IF A WOMAN WANTS A MAN TO BE THAT KIND OF PRESENCE IN HER LIFE...IT CAN BE DONE....IT CAN HAPPEN. BUT IT CAN ALSO HURT. EVEN SO, THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO KNOW THAT KIND OF LOVE...WILL DO ANYTHING TO HAVE IT AND LIVE IT THROUGH EVEN THOUGH THAT KIND OF PASSION CAN COME WITH A BIG EMOTIONAL PRICE TAG.... AND MORE..
Not everyone wants to go that way. I just feel privileged in some manner to truly know what that passion is like without living it my whole life through.
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