I just watched Madonna’s W.E, the Wallace Simpson biopic she launched at Cannes a few years back. I say watched; I actually sat on the couch by the fire, scooting through Facebook and checking emails, with half an eye on the film. About it’s level, to be honest.
It’s a very beautiful film mostly; the bits set in Forties – styling, the casting, even the performances – are fine, even impressive. (Andrea Riseborough even succeeds in making the manipulative old bitch entirely sympathetic.) The problem is the plot, or lack of it. Because the film proceeds in delicious little vignettes – popping back and forth between the storied past and a modern story about a lonely girl with a dull, violent husband – it never spends quite enough time, either there or here, to take us into any kind of narrative momentum. I kept waiting for the film to start; it’s like being stuck in a looooooong prologue, or watching music videos back to back.