DVD review: 'W./E.'

DVD review: ‘W./E.'
BY TIFFANY M. POOLE Published: June 29, 2012



Many Americans don't know that the current queen of England, Elizabeth II, and her father who preceded her were never supposed to take the throne and the sequence of events that led to this was nothing less than an international scandal. “W./E.” is the visually stimulating story of the infamous love affair between American divorcee Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough) and King Edward VIII (James D'Arcy), who abdicated the throne to his brother, George VI and Queen Elizabeth's father.

Cowritten by Madonna and Alex Keshishiaan (“Madonna: Truth or Dare”) and directed by Madonna, we relive the highly controversial relationship between Wallis and Edward through the eyes of a lost woman in 1998, Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish). As we relive Wallis Simpson's abusive and failed marriages, the paralleled life of Wally Winthrop, a reluctant socialite/housewife who is constantly rebuffed by her overbearing psychiatrist husband, comes into focus. Searching for some sign of the existence of love, Wally immerses herself in the lives of Wallis and Edward through their belongings and letters at the Sotheby's auction of their estate.

Divided by decades, the film splits between the two fragile women, at times even sharing them.

Wally is obsessed with discovering how Wallis felt and, in spending so much time at Sotheby's, finds herself in an ironically similar situation, as an unhappily married woman who falls in love with handsome Russian security guard and intellectual Evgeni (Oscar Issac). In the end, we see how it unfolded from Wallis' perspective and the price she paid for following her heart, allowing Wally to find peace.

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