MADONNA’S VISUAL TREAT
I wonder if the new film W.E. would have had a far greater reception had not been directed by possibly the most famous woman in the world.
I am referring of course to Madonna, who like a determined child wanting a new toy from the toyshop, seems hell bent on making her mark in the cinema.
W.E. – directed & co-written by Madonna.
Her detractors are fierce and many but her confidence, determination and, dare I say, hide, seem to give her an unstoppable strength. Perhaps this is why the story of the scandalous love affair between Edward VIII, the then King of England and divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson, spoke volumes to her.
The sense of alienation that surely Wallis Simpson endured in the 1930s may well be highly tangible and recognisable to the ever present, ever changing, ever controversial Madonna.
She not only directs W.E. but also co-wrote the script with her Truth and Dare collaborator Alek Keshishian and rather than just tell the story of the affair that changed the course of history, they set half of it in 1998, where we meet Wally (Abbie Cornish) a lonely New York wife, who is obsessed with her namesake Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough).
So the film shuffles back and forth between the lives of these two women, shifting the focus from the 1930s love story that I found so intriguing, to that of the two woman. A brave choice.
The often-confused script is helped enormously by the actors. Their detailed performances are wonderful. Particularly Riseborough, who captures the uptight Wallis Simpson to perfection.
Madonna has been very public in her praise for Riseborough and it is clear to see why. She is just stunning.
As is the world Madonna and her team create. Luscious is the word that comes immediately to mind. No one can deny that Madonna has an incredible aesthetic and at times the film is breathtaking in its beauty.
It reminded me of what celebrated fashion designer Tom Ford achieved when he directed his award winning first feature The Single Man – an abundant display of love and knowledge of fashion and an adoration of all things beautiful.
With over 200 costumes changes ranging from Balenciaga to Dior and many more in between the film will delight many.
It’s worth seeing for the beauty of the costumes alone.
There are obvious flaws in W.E. But is Madonna judged more harshly than others due to her celebrity, or even her perceived audacity at trying to break into “the club”?
Maybe so, but one thing is for sure. It won’t stop Madonna.