I did not have a lot of hope for this film as Madonna had directed and written it and she is not well known for film making skills. However I found this film to be outstanding with some great performances. Andrea Riseborough gives a wonderful performance of Wallis Simpson and for
the first time in history, she is portrayed as a woman who is a victim, both of domestic abuse within her first marriage, and a victim of her own success of her marriage to the king.
There is a real poignant moment when “she is tired of trying to live up to the romance of the century”.
You really feel for her character and I am sure the real Wallis Simpson would have had a much harder time of it than is portrayed. James D'Arcy also gives a moving performance as Edward. You can’t help but like him and again, you feel for him and his situation.
This is not just a historic piece. This is about a modern marriage, however it still felt very old fashioned to me – who gives up their job to be “looked after” by their husbands? And her taste
in clothes also leaves a lot to be questioned. We are in the 21st century and this should have been more current to make a clear difference between the two timelines.
Abbie Cornish plays the modern Wallis who is married to William, a man who works hard, plays hard and doesn’t seem to care much for his younger wife. Her life is almost parallel in places to Wallis Simpson and with the same name as well, it can get confusing if we are having a flashback or are in current day. Abbie gives a good performance, although I found it hard to sympathise with her character the same way I felt for the original Wallis.
This film made me cry, (such as the abdication scene) and anyone who enjoyed The King’s Speech would enjoy this film. It will be one I will buy for my DVD collection in due course.
Well done Madonna, this is an outstanding film.