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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.


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





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


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


Drama | History | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





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 »


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$47,074, 5 February 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

SDDS | Datasat | Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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 »


In the newsreel scene from 1936 showing the funeral procession of Edward's father the King, the voiceover announcer says that "King George the Third has died and the nation mourns". It should of course have been King George the Fifth. See more »


Wallis Simpson: Attractive, my dear, is a polite way of saying a woman's made the most of what she's got.
See more »


Featured in The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2012) See more »


Written by Gonzales (as Jason "Chilly Gonzales" Beck)
Performed by Gonzales (as Chilly Gonzales)
Published by Delabel Editions/EMI Music Publishing
(P) 2004 Gonzpiration (P) 2010 Gentle Threat
See more »

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User Reviews

a 5 star out of 10
8 February 2012 | by fanfilm63See all my reviews

I have to disagree with most of the critics who have trashed this film. Overall the movie is not that bad. It is a half decent movie. However Madonna had missed the opportunity to make a very good period movie if she would have focused only on Wallis and Edward's story. It is quite fascinating the way she describe it and Andrea Riseborough lights up the screen entirely every time she is on. She could have been even more magnificent if she had more meat and she could have been nominated for awards, she also reminds me of Marion Cotillard in La vie en rose. The film is absolutely stunning during the period movie, the costumes are splendid to every details, the cinematography is grandiose and the score is beautiful but a bit overwhelming some times (again less is more). However, the problem is the modern part, which could have been another film entirely. I didn't really see the links between the 2 stories, other than Wally was named after Wallis and if she was fascinated by W.E. story and Abbie Cornish is not really convincing in the role, day dreaming through the entire movie. The connections between the periods were often not clear and pointless going back and forth all the time and not leaving enough time screen for the period movie. The modern part is also full of clichés, abused woman who wants to get pregnant who gets saved by her Prince Charming and become pregnant. Really Madonna, I would have expect more from you, it was a bit reductive. The scenes were Wally and Wallis meet are also a bit awkward. However Madonna has definitely a eye for filming, but the next time, please have someone else write you a very good script and please remember less is more because movies have to leave something to the imagination.

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