Madonna’s film “W.E.” finally gets its first public preview with the release of a new trailer for the film, which focuses on the love affair between Wallis Simpson and Britain’s King Edward VIII.
The film is controversial, but not only because it’s Madonna’s second directorial effort and her way of thumbing her nose at ex-husband Guy Ritchie, also famously a director.
She toys with a piece of history that still evokes strong feelings for a lot of different and conflicting reasons.
Madonna’s portrayal of Simpson’s affair simply as a love story, stripped of its historical and political context, is like making movie about Hitler’s love for Eva Braun, while conveniently failing to mention World War II.
But the Material Girl seems more interested in using Simpson (Andrea Riseborough), a brash and highly sexual American (not unlike herself) to tell a parallel story about a very un-Simpson-like woman.
Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish) lives in 1998 Manhattan in an abusive marriage and dreams longingly of finding true love.
She becomes obsessed with the woman who would seduce a king, after viewing the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s personal items that are up for auction at Sotheby’s.
Wally eventually finds love–and empowerment– through a scandalous affair with a sensitive, handsome Russian musician, who is underemployed as a Sotheby’s security guard.
Madonna has drawn heat for her sympathetic portrayal of Simpson as “strong, witty and fearless.” She was vilified and shunned by society in real life and portrayed as cold, calculating and selfish.
“When women have some kind of power and we don’t understand them … we have to diminish them by turning them into heretics and burning them at the stake … we can’t come to terms with a powerful, childless woman,” Madonna said at the Venice Film Festival, where her film was screened.
The film also goes light on Wallis’s and Edward’s Nazi sympathies and the fact that Edward turned his back on Britain during a very dark period on the eve of World War II.
If you can over look that, it just might work as a love story. “W.E.” hits theaters Dec. 9. Check out the trailer below.