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W.E. (2011)

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The affair between King Edward VIII and American divorcée Wallis Simpson, and a contemporary romance between a married woman and a Russian security guard.

Director:

Madonna
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Abbie Cornish ... Wally Winthrop
Andrea Riseborough ... Wallis Simpson
James D'Arcy ... Edward
Oscar Isaac ... Evgeni
Richard Coyle ... William Winthrop
David Harbour ... Ernest
James Fox ... King George V
Judy Parfitt ... Queen Mary
Haluk Bilginer ... Mohamed Al-Fayed
Geoffrey Palmer ... Stanley Baldwin
Natalie Dormer ... Elizabeth
Laurence Fox ... Bertie
Douglas Reith ... Lord Brownlow
Katie McGrath ... Lady Thelma
Christina Chong ... Tenten
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Storyline

In 1998, an auction of the estate of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor causes great excitement. For one woman, Wally Winthrop, it has much more meaning. Wally becomes obsessed by their historic love story. As she learns more about the sacrifices involved, Wally gains her own courage to find happiness. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some domestic violence, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French | Russian

Release Date:

20 January 2012 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

El romance del siglo See more »

Filming Locations:

France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$47,074, 5 February 2012

Gross USA:

$583,455

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,042,203
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Semtex Films, IM Global See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Datasat | Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A real auction of Wallis Simpson's personal effects (including luggage, negligee and accessories) took place on March 17, 2011, facilitated by Kerry Taylor Auctions of central London. See more »

Goofs

At the start of the film (2'40), Wally Winthrop is shown taking a bath. When she turns on the bath taps (faucets), the plug is clearly hanging down but in the next shot it is plugged in. See more »

Quotes

Edward: How do you find living in England Mrs Simpson?
Wallis Simpson: I'm always cold.
Edward: Maybe you need someone to keep you warm?
Wallis Simpson: Isn't that what husbands are for?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinemadonna: Filth and Wisdom (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet and Low Down
Written by George Gershwin
Performed by by Paul Whiteman and Orchestra
© 1926 Chappell & Co. Inc. (ASCAP) and New World Music Company Ltd. (ASCAP) All Rights on Behalf of New World Music Company Ltd. Administered by WB Music Corp.
All Rights Reserved
Master Licensed by Kind Permission Naxos Rights International Ltd.
Master courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment Inc. Licensed by Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fantastic, compelling...
5 December 2011 | by Thestart1See all my reviews

I will not be revealing any spoilers. I just want to highlight the fact that I can now confirm for myself that critics are jaded and they will write off anything Madonna does in the film business. That is not to say most of her previous works weren't dismal at best, but I always felt they weren't as bad as critics bashed.

However, we're here to discuss W.E. A film that Madonna does not star in and that may just be the brilliance of it all. I screened it last night after winning a contest and I must say, as a Madonna fan, I walked in with the assumption that I wouldn't like the movie but I would search for little things that I could enjoy and emphasize those things. That had to be the last thing in the world I did once the film commenced. Even in the same room with Madonna and other fashionistas, celebrities and artists, I completely forgot where I was and I soon found myself captivated by the story.

The intertwining of the old and new, historical loosely based romance with a modern romance, music old and new was brilliantly executed by Madonna. The film really emphasized how the general public scrutinize public figures and demonize others without a clear understanding of who they are and how politics can destroy the chance of love and how King Edward would ultimately not have that.

Intertwined with the modern tale of a New York City woman who's fascinated by the story, there are flashbacks that go through the delicate history of the royal family in the particular time that Wallis Simpson, then married, met King Edward.. It is not a fact-by-fact story. It is an attempt to take a look at things from a different perspective because after all there are two sides to every story, if not more than two sides.

Although set design, location and costume design were unbelievable, I will not speak further on it because critics said that that was the only thing good about the film so I'll let that speak for itself.

Every character was played and executed brilliantly and it was just a captivating story from beginning to end. I take pride in my love for Madonna but I also take pride in my love for film and I walked in knowing I wouldn't lie to myself. If I liked it, I liked it. If I loved it, then so be it. If I hated it, oh well.

Fortunately, I found that everyone in the audience was pleasantly surprised, almost as if they were cheering on the fact that it will be seen for what it is. That no one has to defend it. Leave it to the film-goer to make that desicion.

The camera work was beautiful, slow but intermixed with a haunting score and pivotal performances. I really hope people watch it with an open mind and forget Madonna directed it. At least until the credits roll and her new song Masterpiece begins and you remember why we love Madonna in the first place. Her music is profound and the song Masterpiece is a beautiful closer to the film.

After the film, everyone was energized and the buzz carried out into the halls where people stood discussing the film. I can't wait to re-watch it with my friends on Friday for its limited release and then once more at opening night on February 3rd.

I will be buying this film for my DVD collection. It's worth it and that's more than I thought I'd ever say about it.

***1/2(out of 5)


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