Ever wonder about one of
the most discussed romances of the 20th century? I certainly
but the subject seemed quite interesting: The story backdrop of W.E. is about the love affair between
King Edward VIII (James D'Arcy) and Wallis Simpson (Andrea
Riseborough), an American
who charmed him and began a lifelong romance that would be discussed by
person with a passing level of interest. It was considered one of those
romantic events of
story of W.E. is told
through a somewhat timely perspective
in Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish), a New Yorker who becomes entirely
within considering the story of the affair. The modern-day setting of
takes place in 1998. Wally learns of correspondence letters written
Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson and decides to pretend to be writing a
about their romance from the perspective of Wallis Simpson. This ends
providing her unparalleled access to the true story behind the romance.
her New York life,
Wally has a controlling husband who is uncaring about her needs; he is
finding new excuses to be distant from her and appears to be having an
Wally is left with feelings of fantasy adoration for the romance
spotlighted King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson but wants to know what
reality of their romance was in reading their letters.
story mostly follows
Wally's perspective and a romance is brewed between her and a romantic
who is working
in the museum of
Wallis Simpson. He also helps prepare auctions of personal items that
to Wallis Simpson. This romance is one gigantic aspect of the film the
hardly highlight. I would say the story and direction emphasizes equal
the story of King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson as it places emphasis
Winthrop and Evgeni.
is a motion-picture
helmed from the queen of pop music, Madonna, who directed the film and
it with Alek Keshishian (director of the documentary Madonna:
Truth or Dare). I
wasn't sure what to expect from it going in. All I knew to expect was
a tad different, because that is something Madonna has become
at. Crafting original things: whether it be in song form or otherwise.
even written some children's books, after all. Madonna is no stranger
experimenting with her style and abilities as an artist. This was
exception, and it gave her some beautiful opportunities to express
some significance, in
my own estimation, is the significant chemistry on-screen between the
Cornish and Oscar Isaac. The duo was involved in Snyder's Sucker Punch and the
results were all-so-different. It's not so unusual to see actors work
on multiple projects, but what is unusual is to see such impressive
characterizations that works as well as the results demonstrate here.
number one thing
that seems to make W.E. work as
marvelously as it does as a motion picture is the directing and acting,
anything else. Madonna truly steps into directing flawlessly. That's
not to say
this film is pitch-perfect, but it comes awfully close. She is a
better filmmaker than I anticipated given her range of acting
Likewise, Madonna has pulled some significant performances out of her
are believably grounded in the on-screen romances and you grow to care
might not have been a huge forerunner in this year's awards ceremonies
but it's a film showcasing a lot of promise for its director, and I
the film would please anyone looking for a compelling story well-told. W.E. is a sad, emotive story, and a
well-told one in certain need of a wider audience reception. It was one
more compelling films made in 2011.
arrives on Blu-ray from Achor Bay
Entertainment with the original theatrical 2.35:1 aspect ratio in a
MPEG4-AVC encoded transfer. This High Definition presentation is one
sure to please. The subdued blues and grays of the transfer are well
and the sleek look works for this dramatic film and benefits it deeply.
cinematography by Hagen Bogdanski tends to have a modern sensibility to
looks clean, crisp, and frequently stunning in its unique way.
however, the film decides to portray certain scenes in a flashback
stylization by utilizing some aged-film techniques effectively. Either
generally splendid high definition image is always faithful to the
audio track included on this release is in English and it has received
surprisingly robust DTS-HD Master Audio presentation which beautifully
represents the music score by composer Abel Korzeniowski. The track is
sometimes silent when the film needs it,
but it manages to have more of a kick than anticipated. The lossless
manages to make the landscape feel more convincing and it improves the
of the film's music score.
subtitles and English SDH subtitles (for the deaf and hard of hearing)
is only one bonus
supplement included on this release. Luckily, it is a good one.
Making of W./E. Featuring Madonna
(SD, 22:36) is a behind-the-scenes piece that takes
us into the production of W.E., spotlighting interviews with a
wide-array of the
production's cast and crew members, including (if the tile couldn't
make it any
clearer) Madonna herself.
enjoyed hearing some detailed
insights about the filming of the surprisingly ambitious and bold film.
my favorite moment in the piece was when Madonna described her
utilizing the dance of the cameras. She describes how camerawork in
has a dance quality to it that reflected her own background in dance
own understanding of how movement is used in film. This, in my
a brilliant comparison and one that I hadn't ever considered before.
of the supplement is also decently informative and effectively covers a
of degrees to the film, from the casting, cinematography, and costumes.
worth a watch for anyone who appreciated the film.
turns out, Madonna is a great director. I hope
she has more directorial projects coming up soon and that she can make
out of directing. I wouldn't mind
seeing several more movies helmed by her in the future.
though I would classify myself as a fan of her
music career, I was never that interested in her acting (with a few
exceptions to the general vibe). In any case, Madonna did a great job
film. It's better than MDNA and one of the more fascinating films from
year. I appreciated the film for its unique style. You may get the
this is actually something that couldn't have arrived cinematically
else. I certainly did. W./E. is unique,
artistically told, and uncompromising in its vision. That sounds like
work of Madonna to me.
you enjoy period-romantic-drama
with a modern element this is definitely one not to miss.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.