- Monday September 12
Roy Thomson Hall
- Tuesday September 13
Visa Screening Room (Elgin)
|Producer:||Madonna, Kris Thykier|
|Production Company:||Semtex Films|
|Principal Cast:||Abblie Cornish, Andrea Riseborough, James D'Arcy, Oscar Issac|
|Writer:||Madonna, Alek Keshishian|
|Editor:||Danny B. Tull|
|Production Designer:||Martin Childs|
|Canadian Distributor:||Entertainment One|
|US Distributor:||The Weinstein Company|
|International Sales Agent:|
Gala PresentationsPrevious film Next film
Second-time director Madonna returns with W.E., featuring Abbie Cornish as Wally Winthrop, a woman in 1998 who is infatuated with the 1930s marriage of King Edward VIII (James D'Arcy) and American divorcée Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough). Spanning six decades, W.E. gracefully weaves the past and present into two parallel love stories.
Programmer's NoteMadonna has always been a provocateur, regardless of her artistic pursuit. Having made her mark as a singer, actor and writer, she now confidently affirms her place as a filmmaker. W.E. traces two separate love stories — the first, one of England's most infamous romances, the second a more contemporary courtship — in a manner that is sweeping, stylish and thrilling in its scope.
At the core of this combination period-piece drama and modern romantic fantasy are two fascinating women, their stories separated by several decades. In 1998, married yet lonely New Yorker Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish) develops an obsession with a love affair that changed the course of the British monarchy: that of King Edward VIII (James D'Arcy) and American socialite and divorcée Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough). Their courtship and eventual engagement prompted a constitutional crisis and led to Edward's abdication of the throne in 1936. Wally is fascinated by Edward and Wallis' love story, but as she researches their history, she realizes that their life together was far from perfect. Meanwhile it seems that true love, however flawed, may await Wally in the here and now, in the form of a Russian-American security guard (Oscar Isaac).
Creating an intricate weave of chronologies, Madonna shifts between scenes of Wally's discoveries, both personal and historical, and scenes depicting the relationship between Edward and Wallis, from its inception through the dramatic events that challenge it. Visually, the film is a rush of gorgeous, intimate images, edited into a seductive rhythm. There are shades of Tom Ford and Julian Schnabel here. Like them, Madonna appears to have drawn on the sophisticated, cutting-edge aesthetic strategies she has used in other media to craft something remarkably cinematic.
W.E. also benefits from two potent performances. Cornish, having already made such an impression in Jane Campion's Bright Star, proves the ideal contemporary centrepiece for the film. Riseborough, as Wallis Simpson, is a revelation, displaying vulnerability and bravado, street smarts and emotional depth — winning qualities that mirror those of her director.
Madonna was born in Bay City, Michigan. She has won numerous Grammy Awards and was declared the world's top-selling female recording artist of all time by Guinness World Records. She is also an author and Golden Globe Award–winning actor. Her films as director are Filth and Wisdom (08) and W.E. (11).