W.E. – review

Madonna's film about the love affair between Wallis Simpson and Edward, Duke of Windsor is the movie equivalent of a Big Mac – only not quite as good for you, writes Philip French

Like Nora Ephron's charming Julie & Julia, Madonna's film tells the story of a major celebrity through the eyes of a young New York admirer who never met her. But there the resemblance ends. W.E. is the love affair between Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough) and Edward, Duke of Windsor, "the greatest love story of the 20th century" as imagined by Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish), a fictitious Manhattan housewife abused by her wealthy British husband. Wally fetishises the possessions of Wallis auctioned by Sotheby's in 1998 and has an unlikely affair with a Russian security guard at Sotheby's.

This laughable movie resembles the sort of trashy American TV mini-series shown in this country by Channel 5. The two tiresome stories go together the way the sauce and the burger melt into each other within the bun of a Big Mac, and the effect is even less nutritious.


Philip French

The GuardianTramp

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