W.E.

2011, Romance/History, 1h 59m

113 Reviews 5,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

W.E. exhibits director Madonna's keen eye for striking style, but this shallow biopic is too enamored with aesthetics to offer any insight into its subject. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Dissatisfied with the way her own life is playing out, New York-based Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish) becomes obsessed with the romance between American divorcee Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough) and England's Edward VIII (James D'Arcy) when Sotheby's holds an auction of the royal couple's belongings. Wally is especially drawn to Wallis' side of the story, and as certain events transpire in her life, the line between fantasy and reality begins to blur.

Cast & Crew

Abbie Cornish
Wally Winthop
Andrea Riseborough
Wallis Simpson
Richard Coyle
William Winthrop
James Fox
King George
Judy Parfitt
Queen Mary
Geoffrey Palmer
Stanley Baldwin
Katie McGrath
Lady Thelma
Madonna
Director
Madonna
Screenwriter
Alek Keshishian
Screenwriter
Madonna
Producer
Scott Franklin
Executive Producer
Donna Gigliotti
Executive Producer
Harvey Weinstein
Executive Producer
Hagen Bogdanski
Cinematographer
Danny B. Tull
Film Editor
Abel Korzeniowski
Original Music
Martin Childs
Production Design
Mark Raggett
Art Director
Steven Lawrence
Art Director
Molly Sole
Art Director
Sarah Stuart
Art Director
Celia Bobak
Set Decoration
Arianne Phillips
Costume Designer
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News & Interviews for W.E.

Critic Reviews for W.E.

All Critics (113) | Top Critics (47) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (99)

Audience Reviews for W.E.

  • Jul 24, 2014
    Stylish to the point of being strange. The film seemed lifeless and lacking any significant point or emotion. This film would have made more sense as a photo shoot. "W.E." should be renamed "W.T.F.?"
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2013
    Not sure what I think of this one. First the pluses. The movie certainly looks stylish. It's filmed beautifully and I love the outfits and make up used for the "period" parts. Abbie Cornish is great, as is the actress who plays the first Wally. If directing a movie is just about getting things to "look" right and choosing a good cast, then Madonna has done a great job. I did think the "pretty vacant" scene was similar to one in "Marie Antoinette", though. Now the not so good, the story was a bit hard to follow. I didn't understand Abbie's fascination with the first Wally aside from she was named after her. I also thought it floundered in the parts she "saw" and spoke to the original Wally. I didn't really understand the relationships with Wally and her husband and the King, and the beating scene, that was kind of out of nowhere. To be honest, the guys in this are pretty wooden and I couldn't really tell one from the other. Not entirely sure which one beat the first Wally and where the miscarriage came into it. The more modern story was easier to follow. Wally was pretty much married to a jerk, although I can see where her baby obsession must have been pretty annoying. I couldn't understand why she would even want to be with him considering, let alone have children with him. The security guard guy was a bit creepy too. The bit where he says she reminds him of his dead wife. Um. Great. Overall, a movie that looks great and keeps you watching, but a bit low on believability.
    Nicki M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 18, 2013
    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 <I>The King's Speech</i>, which overlaps <i>W.E.</i>.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Jan 06, 2013
    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.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer

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