Madonna's beautifully crafted film tells the story of a lonely New Yorker who begins to explore the ultimate love story: King Edward VIII's abdication of the throne for the woman he loved.
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Madonna directs mature, uneven drama; some domestic abuse.
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Tomatometer®reviews counted: 20see all W.E. reviews
Top Critic Reviews
Rotten: A movie that's less about people than the fetishistic obsession with style.
- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, February 10, 2012
Rotten: The production is nice looking, and telling the Edward-and-Wallis story from her side is an interesting idea, but it's one that Madonna simply can't pull off here.
- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, Thursday, February 16, 2012
Rotten: Madonna the director deserves a script better than the one Madonna the screenwriter handed off to her.
- Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer, Thursday, February 9, 2012
"W.E." surprised me twice. First, I was surprised that something whose previews looked so promising (I even predicted several Oscar nominations) could be so dull. But then, I was even more surprised that the paralleling stories redeemed this film in the end. At first, I felt as if it was "The Hours" gone completely wrong, with its constant shifting between stories separated by 60 years and Phillip Glass-like soundtrack giving it a copycat feel; however, the fact that they didn't draw direct, obvious parallels between the two women's lives kept it from feeling TOO much like "The Hours." The parallels seem more like happenstance as they aren't presented chronologically with the other story, leaving the audience to connect the things that happened early in one character's life with ones that happened later in the other character's life. That being said, Madonna's directorial feature is still a partial disaster. The first half of this film wanders around in circles and I was completely lost. I'm pretty sure that the cast, director, and writers were completely lost, as well. The story of Wallis Simpson and King Edward is fascinating and I would have much rather seen a biopic than this creative approach. The actors are alright, but there were really only two reasons to watch this film: 1. It is a really interesting supplement to "The King's Speech" as these stories align, and 2. The letter reading scene is magic. That scene truly makes this film completely worth watching, pulling the stories together by intertwining Wallis Simpson's hardships that she endured for her love with Wally Winthrop's challenging decision in modern times. It is debatable whether the horrid first 1/2-hour of the film is worth watching in order to have the letter reading scene be so poignant, but I'd probably give this film another shot with a low expectation.
- paj85, Thursday, May 10, 2012
Not the disaster it's reported to be. Great visuals and style. The modern parallel story was unnecessary and distracting. Andrea Riseborough is terrific as Wallis Simpson.
- emiliobarzini, Saturday, May 5, 2012
I really, really wanted to like this movie. It's visually beautiful, and the synopsis makes it sound good. Unfortunately, it's... not. At all. I was bored out of my mind an hour into it and couldn't imagine sitting through any more. Kudos to the visual team for making something pretty, it's just too bad there's nothing else to back it up.
- fb677587177, Saturday, May 5, 2012