W.E. | Chicago Reader


Rated R 119 minutes 2011

Madonna, writing and directing her second feature, gives her patented glamor treatment to Wallis Simpson, the American divorcee whose romance with King Edward VIII of Britain drove him to abdicate the throne in 1936. These same events were covered in The King's Speech (2010), but Madonna and cowriter Alek Keshishian draw more inspiration from the Julia Child biopic Julie & Julia (2009), which interwove the stories of a famous woman from the past and a modern woman who adores her. The year is 1998, and as Sotheby's prepares to auction off the royal couple's estate, an unhappily married woman (Abbie Cornish) loses herself in flashbacks and reveries of Simpson (Andrea Riseborough) and contemplates an affair with a Russian security guard (Oscar Isaac). The auction makes for a pretty good hinge between the two narratives and, more importantly, allows Madonna to indulge her fetish for fine English things. With James D'Arcy as Edward.

Film Credits

Director: Madonna

Producer: Madonna, Kris Thykier, Scott Franklin, Donna Gigliotti and Harvey Weinstein

Cast: Abbie Cornish, Andrea Riseborough, James D'Arcy, Oscar Isaac, Richard Coyle, David Harbour, James Fox, Judy Parfitt, Haluk Bilginer, Geoffrey Palmer, Natalie Dormer, Laurence Fox, Katie McGrath, Christina Chong and Duane Henry

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