W.E. [Blu-Ray] Madonna

W.E. [Blu-Ray] Madonna
To deem a Madonna film "disastrous" is expected, fashionable even. And so the great majority of the critical world wrote her latest directorial effort, W.E., off when it hit screens. As negative criticism tends to be more colourful (and more enjoyable to write) and as negative reviews are more fun to read, the hate for W.E. was rampant. Is it a great film? No, it isn't. Is it a disaster though? Absolutely not. W.E. is as stylish as they come. At times, it can all be a bit much to take, an overdose of exquisite taste and fine furniture of sorts, but Madonna's guidance is omnipresent, albeit somewhat heavy-handed. There is a vision though and the dramatic tones she strikes are often quite real and effective. A good director makes choices and Madonna is nothing if not decisive. The problems with W.E. lie with its script. As a director, Madonna shows promise; the woman clearly has an eye for beauty, after all. As a writer though, she can be stiff and unfocused. Madonna tells the tale of a modern romance on the brink of collapse and intercuts that with the sordid story of England's King Edward VIII's abdication of the thrown for American divorcee Wallis Simpson (think The King's Speech meets Julie and Julia). The connection between both story lines is a stretch most of the time and eventually goes nowhere at all. That sounds harsh, but the cast are all beautiful and compelling, allowing W.E. to engage the viewer in the end. The romantics amongst you could even very easily be swept up in it. Collectors, meanwhile, will have nothing to get excited about, as the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack offers absolutely nothing in terms of extras. Apparently Madonna wants as little to do with her movie as her critics. (eOne)