W.E. ★★

A desperate woman is repeatedly shunned/abused by her miserable alcoholic adulterous husband and yet still wants to have kids with him - because it'll make the relationship better or more fulfilling? or something? Depressing and predictable, it tries to venture further by turning Wally's miserable relationship into an obsession with Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII. There's a compelling link between the two sides that probably could've been more fascinating as a historical novel, but as a film, it's haphazard. The editing and cinematography, in particular, is a bit nightmarish struggling to choose whether the film is a portrait of ill-fated love stories, a voyeur looking in on the past, noir thriller or biopic. Madonna should've stayed true to telling a biopic of Simpson and Edward. Those parts were the most compelling, and the modern storyline comes across as an afterthought. It's a shame - she clearly knows the characters she has in mind, the aesthetic she wants to convey, and the performances she wants from her actors who are charismatic overall...but she doesn't know how to piece it all together. I eventually got the feeling this is an exhibition of channeling herself into Abbie's character more than anything else.

To be honest, I spent most of the time drooling over the production and costume design, and shouting the names of actors I didn't know would be in this - I mean, the cast is stacked - Abbie Cornish, Andrea Riseborough, Oscar Isaac (and whatever accent he's doing), David Harbour, Natalie Dormer. But most of all JARVIS aka James D'Arcy from Agent Carter chef's kiss.

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