Madonna and Ritchie film is swept away by tide of vitriol

Madonna and Guy Ritchie's film, Swept Away, hit the rocks yesterday.

Madonna and Guy Ritchie's film, Swept Away, hit the rocks yesterday.

The couple's first big screen production was denounced as a "shipwreck" in devastating reviews that attacked the acting and direction in equal measure. "As awful as you've heard, and as bad as you've imagined," said the Washington Post. The New York Daily News gave it an unprecedented zero stars: "Amateurish", a "debacle" and a "new career low" for Madonna.

Ritchie directed the remake of a 1974 Italian parable of a wealthy married woman who washes ashore on a Mediterranean island with the yacht deckhand she has been abusing for days. In their new surroundings, Madonna, the spoiled socialite, is dependent on the sailor, and has to beg for help until they become lovers.

The Los Angeles Times found the on-screen affair a "rough trade Punch and Judy act", while the New York Times said the production was "soggy and superfluous".

Ritchie's directing was damned, with reviewers noting his wife's appearance. "Her overtoned arms are striped with veins and she has back muscles that could cast shadows in afternoon light," said the Daily News. The Los Angeles Weekly said the lighting "emphasises every line and sag". Rolling Stone's verdict was: "Audiences are likely to be slack-jawed. It's the movie that's a shipwreck."

The New York Post asked if the couple were making "some sort of an in-joke", concluding: "Not even a liferaft can save Madonna's latest sinker."


Rebecca Allison

The GuardianTramp

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