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by Nigel M Smith
November 18, 2011 5:47 PM
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The Well-Done Trailer for 'W.E.' Begs the Question: Is It Really That Bad?

Madonna's "W.E." The Weinstein Company.
The Weinstein Company have taken their sweet time to deliver a trailer for Madonna's period romp "W.E." And who can blame them? Following its disastrous premiere at Venice and its chilly reception in Toronto the film's gone quiet -- and the film's Oscar qualifying run begins in three weeks.

During that time, it seems that the company's put a lot of thought in how to make this thing look good. Because, guess what? It does. Or at least, not half bad.

Here, it looks like a shiny if conventional melodrama, not the howling disaster critics have pegged it to be. (The Playlist went so far as to give it an F: "The film can't be redeemed.")

So what makes the trailer so darn compelling? Well, for starters it looks Technicolor gorgeous, as lensed by talented DP Hagan Bodanski ("The Lives of Others"). And the acting snippets appear solid, with Brit Andrea Riseborough displaying great confidence (and one fine American accent) as Wallis Simpson, the American divorcee for whom King Edward VIII gave up the throne. That she's backed by Abbie Cornish, James D'Arcy and a wealth of British talent, all of whom make appearances, only bolsters the sense that this is a well-acted affair.

However, what's been mosty widely attacked in the wealth of negative reviews has been the script written by Madonna and Alek Keshishian, which is accused of abundant cliches and clunky exposition. Unsurprisingly, no howlers made their way into the 2:30 trailer.

Have a look at what The Weinstein Company conjured up below. Do you think it really looks that bad? Let us know in the comments.
 

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5 Comments

  • Rachel E A | November 19, 2011 10:13 AMReply

    I agree with Ronnie D that the moment the woman looks toward the camera and closes her eyes, things started to look suspiciously, uh, unimaginative. The cinematography IS gorgeous, and I think that should count for as much as anything else (and prevent that "F"?), but the dialogue -- even the collection here -- is _awful_: it plays like a montage of other movies we've already seen ten times ("Hey, this sh*t writes itself!"). I think it will do very well with the slightly aging 'Twilight' crowd.

  • K | November 19, 2011 9:44 AMReply

    Ronnie: it doesnt look bad at first, but ist that for all trailers? It almost seems like as if you are desperately looking for an error.

  • Katherine | November 19, 2011 9:44 AMReply

    It doesnt look bad at all, and perhaps it isn't. If something looks really good, then maybe, just maybe, it IS good. The truth is that critics had sharpened their knives weeks before she premiered this film, there's even been proof of "journalists" who went online on several film forums, looking for people who saw the screenings and they had a Q&A for all of them, saying they would pay money if you had to say negative things about it. Again, this was before the premiere, back then people actually had a lot of good words about this movie. Many people didnt even know it was directed by Madonna, and 70% of the people gave it a 10/10 rating (I am NOT joking here)

  • haqyunus | November 18, 2011 9:48 PMReply

    Cinematography, costumes, art direction and Riseborough look quite impressive. I also have a hunch that it might not be as bad as it was made to be at Venice (by the way you folks at IW are included in that pretty harsh group :)

  • Ronnie D. | November 18, 2011 8:27 PMReply

    It doesn't look bad at first, but once the flashforward begins, it begins to become a giant cliche and it only gets worse from there with the choice of modern music that comes on.