Box art for W.E.

W.E.

drama, romance


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.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    13%
  • Audience Score
    47%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
Consumerism
2 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
4 out of 5
Language
4 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
Sex
4 out of 5
Violence
3 out of 5

Madonna directs mature, uneven drama; some domestic abuse.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Madonna's directorial debut tackles some mature issues that aren't appropriate for younger teens. There's considerable marital abuse; the two main female characters both have husbands who strike them viciously, and in one case the physical abuse leads to a bloody miscarriage. There's nearly full-frontal nudity in a brief bath scene, plus several love scenes (though no additional graphic nudity) and shots of the two main actresses wearing only underwear/lingerie. Strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," and "c--t." Despite W.E.'s adult themes, it does have one important message: Never stay in an abusive relationship.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how W.E. addresses the classic theme of star-crossed lovers. How are both couples not initially a good match? What keeps them together? Can you think of other movie couples that stay together despite the odds against them?
  • Why does the movie gloss over possible negative aspects of Wallis and Edward's relationship? How does this portrayal compare to how they're depicted in The King's Speech? Are there any similarities between the two movies? Which characters are depicted consistently between the two films?
  • How do the relationships in this movie compare to others you've seen in movies and TV shows? What messages do you see in how the media depicts romantic relationships?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    13%
    reviews counted: 0
    see all W.E. reviews
  • Audience

    47%

Audience Reviews

4 stars

I thought that this movie was beautifully done. I have read some not so kind reviews, but I decided to watch it anyway do to the subject matter. I was very pleasantly surprised by how well this movie was done. Good casting, great cinematography, good pacing, nice score, and I like the honest portrayal of the two main characters. This was actually one of the best movies I've seen in awhile.

- itsjustme2004, Sunday, January 6, 2013

0 star

This film juxtaposes the romance between Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII with a neglected woman in the twentieth century who entertains an obsession with the story. This is one of the worst films I've seen in a long time. Madonna is a horrid director. There is absolutely no restraint, subtlety, or character development. It's just bad, bad, bad. But let's try to take the film on its own terms. The thesis is that history remembers Edward's abdication of the throne and lauds or judges him based on what he gave up for Wallis Simpson. But, the film wonders, what about what she gave up for him? Well, what did she give up? This film doesn't answer its own question. Some may judge Simpson as a home-wrecker, but the most accurate reading of history judges British royal mores, not the actors. And because Madonna has no feeling for British customs, we don't get to see these social pressures in action. And I still have no idea how the modern day plot informs the British plot. Overall, anyone with any taste should see any other film, maybe The King's Speech, which overlaps W.E..

- hunterjt13, Thursday, April 18, 2013

1 star

Madonna employs her shallow view of life in this self-indulgent project of pure vanity to tell two insipid stories that hardly blend together. An excruciating and unfocused mess about two pathetic women full of self-pity and with no self-respect.

- blacksheepboy, Wednesday, May 23, 2012