Friday, May 25, 2012

We'll Never Belong Together (Film Review: W/E)

I was truly expecting the worst in W.E., which people mostly describe as Madonna's directorial feature debut (she had previously directed a documentary) because so many people have written and said horrible things about it. I have to confess I knew very little about the real story behind "one of the greatest love stories of all time," that of Wallis Simpson and Prince Edward VII besides the fact that he gave up his throne for her. It's a story ready-made for a great movie. Sadly, after seeing the movie, I know not much more, and that is its biggest flaw. I wish I could have seen what made them tick, what attracted them to each other, what combusted their chemistry. their story, framed with a parallel modern-day story, seemed diluted. Andrea Risebrough tries hard to get a human out of her character, but as written here, it seemed dead on arrival. And James D'Arcy seemed miscast as the Prince. He looks the part, but is so wan that it doesn't seem believable that Wallis would be obsessed with him. I wish the latter day storyline was more interesting, but it was, frankly, boring. It doesn't help that Abbie Cornish looks as bored as the audience, and doesn't generate any heat with her partner, played by Oscar Isaac. (Its not helping that hunk as he is, he is about half a foot shorter than her) I knew what Madonna was trying to do, but she got bogged down by her own ambition. I wish she had just abandoned her art house aspirations and just gave it to us straight. She has a great vision, and good taste - the costumes, the make-up, and especially the music is quite good. As it is, though, the movie looks like a little princess dressed for the ball with nowhere to go. That said, though, the movie isn't really as bad an effort as people make it out to be. I definitely have seen worse first efforts, and I would gladly take this over some of the overhyped commercial fare we get nowadays. 

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