Sunday, 15 January 2012

One reason to watch... W.E (2011)

One reason to watch W.E - style.

Hayley from Roeni event stationery and styling shares her thoughts on W.E, after walking the red carpet at the London Film Festival premiere last year.

Pic: Madonna and cast at the London Film Festival screening

It’s pretty hard to review a film directed by Madonna without mentioning the lady herself. In fact it’s pretty hard to review a film directed by Madonna when the lady herself is sitting in the room with you. Not now of course. But she was when I watched this film at the BFI Film Festival in Leicester Square.

In a rare local outing, the queen graced us with her presence before, during and for quite a little while after the film was shown, chatting relaxed and natural (well maybe not the face) about the film she has co-written, produced and directed, lovingly and painstakingly over the last three years. Unfortunately for Madonna, she is swimming against a mass tide of head shaking, lip wrinkling, Perez-a-likes, who decided upon first rumour of this production that it would be abysmal. Ever the master of controversy, she decides to make her first film about probably one of the most despised women of recent British history. Whilst Madonna is flawlessly explaining he reasons, post-showing, you can’t help but realise the natural affinity between the two women. Wallis Simpson has been one of the most unpopular victims of propaganda for the best part of 80 years. And all because she fell for a prince.

In W.E, a fair and frank story is told, through the eyes of modern day Wallis fangirl (named strangely enough - Wally), of a glamourous fun loving girl who married once an evil, abusive soldier. Secondly a kind, generous but safe option of a man, and who got drawn into an exciting affair with the Heir to the thrown of England. This Heir quickly became obsessed with her and saw a chance of normality, much to the disgust of little bro Lawrence Fox (cute, but no Colin Firth) and snooty wife Elizabeth (Helena BC, your crown is safe). Wallis knew this would never be allowed and begged him not to confess all. She knew she would lose her freedom and most definitely her dignity. A side to Wallis we have never been allowed to witness.
The film is beautiful and really quite sensual to watch. Andrea Riseborough is so watchable. She is stunning and immaculately dressed throughout, wearing replicas by Dior and Vionnet of original Wallis dresses and never an ebony hair or scarlet lip out of place.

Some of the filming in the beginning was a little too swishy from the third row, thus making me want to throw up my complimentary green and blacks. But I managed to keep it down thankfully as the pace slowed down and the story picked up.

Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely a few bits that could be ironed out. To name a few: a bit of dragged out script, a bit too little script, a slightly unnecessary but none-the-less handsome Russian, a part where it could have ended but then didn’t, and went on a bit, but then got really good again... But overall, W.E is compelling throughout, not at all self indulgent and definitely worth a watch. Forget your Madge preconceptions. She knows how to thought-provoke and she certainly knows what looks good.

I’m off to comb out my marcel waves and slip on a tea dress.

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