Monday, 12 March 2012


The greatest love story ever told.

Its strange, normally when you go into the cinema with low expectations you don’t always leave so pleasantly surprised, and considering the bad press Madonna latest cinematic offering W.E. (2012) has received from the pen of the critics, it was definitely not as as bad as I had been led to believe turning out to be a very watchable film. All right I agree it’s not perfect, but what films are, certainly not some of this years Oscar nominations or for that matter some of the winners! It’s modern day storyline, well near enough it set in 1998,  involves a women in an abusive marriage intertwined with the Edward and Mrs Simpson abdication story.

Abbie Cornish as Wally Winthrop.

Directed and co-written by the American singer, songwriter, actress and entrepreneur. It involves two determined women Wally Winthrop and Wallis Simpson separated by some sixty years. Winthrop (Abbie Cornish) lives in New York, has a husband she suspects of having an affair and is obsessed with what has been termed ‘the greatest love story ever told’ which manifests it self in frequent visits to Sotheby’s who are conducting an auction of the Windsor Estate.  Its there she develops a relationship with the Russian security guard that will forever change her life. The film travels back in time via Wally’s imagination to relate the adjacent story of the love affair between the American divorcee and King Edward VIII (James D’Arcy) and his subsequent abdication.

Andrea Riseborough as the misunderstood Wallis Simpson.

The really big plus is the performance from Andrea Riseborough who I would now consider to be one of Britain’s leading acting talents. Since graduating from RADA, only six years ago, she has gained critical acclaim for various roles on Television and the big screen. On TV she was lauded for her acting in the BBC’s The Long Road to Finchley (2008) and Channel 4’s civil war miniseries The Devil’s Whore (2008). On film I first saw her in Mike Leigh’s comedy drama Happy Go Lucky (2008) since then she has received rave reviews for her part as a spirited Ford Factory machinist in Made in Dagenham (2010), as Rose in Rowan Joffe’s remake of Brighton Rock (2011) and between these two roles played opposite Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightly in Never Let Me Go (2010) In W.E. she completely nails the role of Wallis Simpson lighting up the screen every time she appears successfully mimicking Simpsons body and hand movements and just watch her handle a cocktail shaker and the Sex Pistols Pretty Vacant! But as I said previously it’s not flawless: the editing could have been more aggressive and therefore shortening the two hour running time. My other problem was the camera work which I found over indulgent at times with arty shots of ceilings and looking up trees that were not really necessary also a lot of unwarranted shaky camera work. But this movie proves you should not always listen to other people’s opinions, even mine!!!

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