Images from W.E, Madonna’s much-discussed and ridiculously-long in the making directorial debut, have finally been released, and the biggest surprise is that it looks rather good. Madge passed up on the opportunity to appear on screen, choosing to remain behind the camera for this venture, that has been Arianne Phillips is the woman responsible for re-creating Wallis’ look , no mean feat considering that Wallis herself once claimed “I’m not a beautiful woman. I’m nothing to look at, so the only thing I can do is dress better than anyone else”. Judging by the images, Phillips (who is also Madonna’s personal stylist and the costume designer for her last four tours), has captured Wallis’ style with panache. A demure short-sleeved jacket with a double layered collar and a printed headscarf paired with dramatic, dark lipstick exude an easy elegance and a sporty glamour…a look the American socialite would no doubt have favoured.
Early reports have been unfavourable, suggesting that the film favours style over substance, that it reads more like a glossy advert with very little plot development (read more here and here), but both Madge and Harvey Weinstein (who owns the distribution rights) have their fingers crossed for Oscar glory. Timely releases will – W.E is to premiere at Venice in September, and is slated for release across the US in January next year – will ensure maximum studio hype before the ceremony. Whilst Madge passed up on the opportunity to appear on screen, choosing to remain firmly behind the camera for this venture, she savvily cast a veritable who’s who of bright young things. Abbie Cornish plays as a modern-day New Yorker who becomes enamoured with Ms Simpson, Andrea Riseborough was cast as Wallis, Natalie Dormer appears as Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, and James D’Arcy plays the role of Edward VIII – Harvey is perhaps hoping his recent runaway success, including The Kings Speech, coupled with the joyous reception Wills and Kate enjoyed on their recent Stateside visit, will work in his favour and help Madonna improve her big screen credentials. Just don’t mention Swept Away….
images via Marie Claire