'W.E.' Review: Madonna Can't Vogue Her Way Around Film's Insufferable Characters

One positive thing to be said about Madonna’s new movie, “W.E.,” is that it is leagues better than her first directing effort, the 2008 “Filth and Wisdom.” But then many things are, periodontal surgery among them.

Unlike that earlier film, this one is beautifully photographed (by Hagen Bogdanski, who also shot “The Lives of Others”), and so the endlessly shuttling Grand Tour locations–London, Paris, Cannes–glide by in preening detail, and the deluxe interiors speak softly of serious money.

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That’s the good part. The picture’s problem–well, one of its problems–is that it presents for our appreciative contemplation two of the most worthless jet-setting parasites of the last century: Edward, Duke of Windsor, and Wallis Simpson, the American clothes-horse divorcee for whom he abdicated the Throne of England. In 1937, directly after stepping down, Edward married his brittle inamorata, and together they spent the next 35 years doing absolutely nothing but spending epic amounts of his hand-me-down royal fortune in the gaudiest possible ways.

Having no other purpose, they became style icons among the international idle rich–he in his tailored tweeds, she in pricey Dior and Vionnet and the emeralds and pearls with which he continually showered her. Unsurprisingly, Madonna excavates this aspect of her subjects with gusto.

Real the full review at Reason.com