Madonna's W.E. is a beautifully crafted, passionate tale about the search for true love in the modern world, viewed through the prism of one of history's most fabled romances. The year is 1998, and Manhattan is abuzz with anticipation about the upcoming auction of the estate of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. But the auction is far more than a diversion for Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish), a transplanted Southerner trapped in an unhappy and abusive marriage. Transfixed by the exquisite artifacts of the Windsors' lives, Wally becomes obsessed with the love story of Wallis Simspon (Andrea Riseborough), the chic, charismatic American who captured the heart of King Edward VIII (James D'Arcy). As she learns more about the sacrifices Wallis made in choosing to be with Edward, Wally finds the courage to follow her own heart and create her own happiness.
- Andrea Riseborough, Natalie Dormer, Abbie Cornish, Annabelle Wallis, Oscar Isaac, Katie McGrath, James D'Arcy, Richard Coyle
Madonna as a director has no discernible idea of how to locate a tone, or a provocative blend of tones. Her camera makes circles around its subjects every chance it gets in ways that evoke - nothing.Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, 02.08.2012
Instead of a film about a love that conquered a king and nearly undid a kingdom, Madonna has come up with a female friendship movie, which would be fine if she weren't busy trying to prove her art-film bona fides.Manohla Dargis, New York Times, 02.02.2012
The disparate strands of the two stories never make much sense the way they're braided together.Claudia Puig, USA Today, 02.02.2012
The question that needs to be asked about Madonna's "W.E." is why?David Germain, Associated Press, 02.02.2012