W.E. (15, 119 mins) 5/10
MADONNA’S second feature behind the camera explores the tumultuous romance of King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson.
Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish) is trapped in an abusive marriage to husband William (Richard Coyle). She becomes obsessed with a Sotheby’s auction of precious trinkets from the Windsor estate belonging to Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough) and her royal suitor (James D’Arcy). Wally becomes a regular visitor to the pre-auction showcase, seeking sanctuary in flashbacks to Wallis’s trials and tribulations.
“You have no idea how hard it is to live out the greatest romance of the century,” laments Wallis to one confidante.
Back at the auction, Russian security guard Evgeni (Oscar Isaac) catches Wally’s eye, offering an escape from her violent and loveless relationship.