I’d like to say that Madonna’s latest film is a wonderful and intelligent examination of one of the 20th century’s greatest romances. I’d also like to say that I have just won the lottery and been made the king of the world. But I can’t say those things as they are blatantly untrue.
Instead, what I have to say is that Madonna’s latest film is laughably bad and does a disservice to everyone involved. And that I remain decidedly un-rich and the uncrowned monarch of the planet.
Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish) is trapped in an unfulfilling relationship with her cold husband William (Richard Coyle). She soon becomes obsessed with Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough), the American who stole the heart of King Edward VIII (James D’Arcy) and was instrumental in his decision to abdicate the British throne. As Wally finds out more about Wallis, we follow their complicated lives in parallel and wonder why Madonna didn’t just stick to singing.
The script is overwrought and obvious, the premise silly, the history dubious and the entire enterprise an exercise in self-indulgence. It’s so obviously the work of a person who has no connection with reality whatsoever – everyone swans around wearing beautiful clothes and looking gorgeous and spouting lines that are awkward and stupid. There are some who claim that the criticism levelled at the film is because Madonna is a successful woman. No.
The criticism levelled at the film is because she’s an atrocious filmmaker who thinks that subtlety consists of a crashing soundtrack and waving the camera around as if it were a child’s toy. Her refusal to view her subjects objectively (including whitewashing Wallis and Edward’s controversial friendship with Hitler), smacks of egoism and the entire film is a complete and utter disaster.
A terrible misuse of film, time and effort that Greenpeace should protest for being a shocking waste of the Earth’s precious resources.