After screening her decidely ambitious historical romance "W.E." to less than stellar reviews in Venice, Toronto and London, Madonna brought her baby to MoMA Sunday night for the premiere in the city where she got her start, New York.
With Madonna in attendance, the crowd for the Cinema Society and Piaget hosted affair was predictably a star gazer's dream. Among those in the audience: "W.E." star Andrea Riseborough, Chloe Sevigny, Adrien Brody, Kim Cattrall, Parker Posey, Valentino, Donna Karan, Julian Schnabel, Patti Smith, Anderson Cooper and Alan Cumming.
Harvey Weinstein (who's company is releasing the film for an Oscar qualifying run on Dec. 9th), introduced the star to the packed house, noting that "W.E." was unfairly attacked due to Madonna's participation. He stated, quite firmly, that if a "Joe Smith" had directed it, the critical reception would have been through the roof.
In taking to the stage, after much applause, Madonna retorted, "Thank you Harvey, but I never want to be a 'Joe Smith.'"
"I’ve taken the film to festivals in Venice, Toronto and London. And each time I watched the film, I had a new experience and I learned new things," she continued. "I also had the luxury of making changes to the film after watching the film with audiences. Tonight is very different for two reasons. One is that the film is now finished. I cannot make any more changes. The other interesting aspect of tonight is that I’m showing my film in a museum. A museum of art.
"Museums have always had a special place in my life, because they’ve always been an escape for me. As a young girl growing up in the suburbs of Michigan, being able to go to the Detroit Institute of Art and escape into the murals of Diego Rivera and learn about Frida Kahlo, with the idea that I too could make a revolution with my art. I didn’t have a clue what my art was going to be. I just knew I wanted to move to New York and become an artist and start a revolution. So here I am, so many years later in a museum showing my directorial debut and it’s extremely humbling to be in this building that houses the work of so many great artists.
"Thank you all for coming here to support me. No one has gotten me a glass of champagne like they did in Venice and Toronto. So I’m sober and I hope I like the film."