Marguerite Alberts, Staff Writer
After viewing Madonna’s W./E, it was easy to see why the film was nominated for only one Golden Globe, and not even a Golden Globe related to the movie itself, but for the music.
The movie starts by establishing the connection between Wallis Simpson, the wife of Edward VIII played by Andrea Wiseborough, and Wally Winthrop, an American living in New York City in 1998 who is obsessed with her namesake played by Abbie Cornish.
Wally, like Wallis was in her first marriage, is in an abusive marriage, driving her to spend as much time as possible at the place she used to work, Sotheby’s, all the while hosting an auction of the possessions of the Duke and Duchess of Wales.
While the plot line is truly interesting and presents another side of this famous love story, the presentation did not do the story justice. It was unnecessary to draw the parallels between the two women’s lives.
The trailer leads you to believe that the entire movie is about what Wally Winthrop discovered about the couple by reading their personal correspondence. This is incorrect. Winthrop only discovered the letters toward the end of the movie, after already telling most of what she believed the story was by looking at the artifacts in the exhibition.
The romance between Wally and the Sotheby’s guard, Evgeni, played by Oscar Issac was unnecessary. The only point to it was to ensure that at least somebody had a happy ending. When Wally found true happiness she was able to let go of her fantasies of the “greatest romance of the 20th century.”
Wallis Simpson, despite marrying the king, certainly didn’t get what she expected. Simpson expected problems when marrying King Edward and that she would be the most hated woman in England, but she didn’t expect the extent of the isolation the relationship caused after the two were married and exiled from the United Kingdom. She and King Edward were exiled from England until the death of Edward in the mid-seventies.
Besides the music, the only other well done element of the film was the casting. Andrea Riuseborough did a fantastic job of playing Wallis Simpson. Her acting made Wallis Simspon realistic and easy to sympathise with. Wallis Simpson definitely had a lot to lose, perhaps not more than King Edward who abdicated the throne for the woman he loved, but definitely not less.
The film would have been better had it begun in the future with Wally Winthrop going on her first visit to Sotheby’s before setting the scene back in time in order to tell the story. Don’t waste your money on this one. Eventually, someone else will want to tell the story of the Duke and Duchess of Wales, an they will have hopefully learned from Madonna’s mistakes.