Saturday, 23 June 2012

Fresh from Cinema.. ..W.E.

So - I just returned home from cinema where I watched

W.E. (USA, 2011) by Madonna.

In a nut-shell:

New York, 1998: The estate of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor is about to be auctionated. Since they caused a great scandal in 1930's when King Edward VIII. forgo the throne of Great Britain to live with the twice divorced American Wallis Simpson.

Especially Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish) is fascinated by their love story - no wonder since she is named after Wallis Simpson. Wally's husband William (Richard Coyle) - a very successful psychiatrist with almost no time for his wife - has absolutely no understanding for her - neither for her wish to have a child.

While Wally is spending more and more time at Sotheby's where Russian security man Evgeni (Oscar Isaac) finds great interest in her - we will parallel see some scenes of the romance of Edward (James D'Arcy) and Wallis (Andrea Riseborough). By that we actually watch two love stories - and two women struggling with their lifes - and changing them.

~ Wally meets Wallis - yes.. Wally sees Wallis now and then.. ~

Where from could one know...

... Abbie Cornish? - She was in BRIGHT STAR (UK/AUSTRALIA/FRANCE, 2009) and in SUCKER PUNCH (USA/CANADA, 2011)

... Richard Coyle? - He might be best known as Jeff from UK Telly show COUPLING (2000-2002)

... James D'Arcy? - Maybe you also know him from an UK Telly show - he was in SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL (2010)

... Oscar Isaac? He was also in SUCKER PUNCH (2011).. - and just by the way: Apparently he has not at all connections to Russia..

... Andrea Riseborough? She was in two of my favourite recent films: HAPPY-GO-LUCKY (UK, 2008) and MADE IN DAGENHAM (UK, 2010) - and yes.. I happen to like her very, very much..

If you happen to like...

... costumes and styles of 1930's - but not only then...

... the romance of Wallis and Edward...

... films set in several times and decades - not necessarily in the chronological order...

... one actress I grow fonder and fonder of: Andrea Riseborough...

... James Fox and his son Laurence Fox playing the parts of father and son also ON screen as King George V. and Prince Albert/ King George VI. ...

... several dogs in bit parts...

... you might give this film a try.

~ quite a lot dogs in this films..
actually Wallis and Edward a due for a Dogs Tuesday on this blog. ~

Again the most awful parts first: Under no circumstances I can pardon any person kicking a pregnant woman into the stomach - no matter if she is your wife and you are hungry or not. Yes - that's actually one of the first scenes of Wallis Simpson - and the cause for her loosing her unborn child and apparently afterwards not being able to give birth anymore. Speaking of that: kicking any person in the stomach is unbearably.

~ Evgeni (Oscar Isaac) and Wally (Abbie Cornish) - start of a romance.. ~

To be honest I could have lived without the part set in 1998. It is nice and really nothing which would keep me off from liking this film - but I really am more interested into the story of Wallis and Edward.. That Wally and Evgeni also had the same initials as Wallis and Edward I found a bit too much of a coincidence. Nevertheless: I liked this 1998 - but I would not have missed it when it wasn't there..

~ William (Richard Coyle) not at all talking to his wife.. ~
I was highly impressed by Richard Coyle - who is really a versatile actor which he showed several times before but does here again - his character in this film is really not very likeable in the end. And I am as much enthusiastic about the performance of Andrea Riseborough - though you by now have noticed that I might be a bit prejudiced when it comes to her.. 

Also I was very pleased to see Laurence Fox as the stuttering Prince "Bertie". I like him a lot - and he did quite a good job in this part which by now might be in several heads the part of Colin Firth. Laurence Fox and James D'Arcy really made a great couple of brothers in this film. I think it would do a great double feature night togehter with THE KING'S SPEECH (UK, 2010) - and maybe one could later on add THE QUEEN (UK/France/Italy, 2006)..

~ The real Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII. ~

As a matter of fact: in one of the last scenes I became a bit teary eyed: In 1972 Wallis - by then an elderly lady - dances for Edward who by then is bedridden - it's not too long before his death.. The film does not make clear where Edward and Wallis actually stood politically and their connection to Nazi-Germany are just kind of a side note - but after all this film deals more with their relationship. I also would have loved to learn more about Wallis' second husband Ernest (David Habour) who was so kind to let her go. 

~ Ernest - in an awful situation as his beloved wife turns towards another man
- who is no one else but the crown prince..  ~
For sure it shows that trough such a situation no one can go with an eternal smile - and maybe this film might help to form a new and less partial view of Wallis Simpson as a person. I don't think that she was the icy lady who caught herself a king and went over death bodies and a starving nation to do so - all with a malicious little smile.. but I am also sure it was no real fairytale either..

The costumes are exquisit - and as far as I could see on first sight very true to the decade - even the nail polish is done in a 1930's manner.. 
When it comes to the score purists might be a bit put off when in 1930's Wallis dances to some music which to me sounded very much like the Sex Pistols.. - but that was just this scene - and I think it worked since in the 1930's music we find utterly old-fashioned these days was just all the rage and partly very provoking at those times.. 

Have a look:

If you are willing to watch a film which feels like paging through an issue of Vogue magazine with a large part of a vintage Vogue like pages - you maybe should consider to spent 119 minutes of your life watching this really gorgeous looking film.

~ this is one of the film stills by Anthony Suoza.. ~ 

Thank you very much for listening



  1. Yes..very interesting. It has opened here in America yet...don't know if they even plan on releasing it here. If not I will definitely catch it on DVD. Another wonderful post Irene!

    1. Thank you. Would like to hear whether you liked it or not, Monty..

  2. I hadn't heard of this film before but you have piqued my interest. Great review. Very detailed and it helps me get a good idea about the atmosphere of the movie. I think the Wallis Simpson sorry would appeal to me as well. I don't mind something that is as bit different either. As long as it's not too of centre. Thanks for the review.


I really appreciate your comments - I'll read them all and if I can think of an answer I'll post it. :")