The fall festival season had its first major league flop as Madonna‘s sophomore directorial effort “W.E.” was roundly crucified and/or dismissed as an opulent folly after its premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Our own Oliver Lyttelton gave the film an F, saying that “despite a couple of solid performances, the film can’t be redeemed,” pointing to a litany of gaffes from clumsy editing and shot blocking to the script itself, which offers very little reason to be providing two parallel storylines that seemingly have little to connect them. Naturally, the failure has grown curiosity about the film, and two clips have now landed online that give a taste of what Madonna delivered to the critics in Italy.
If anyone had anything good to say about the film, it was regarding the costume design and yes, these scenes look good. But that’s about where the compliments end. Clunky and overwrought dialogue plague both clips, with the first proving to be one of Oli’s examples of Madonna’s inability to structure a sequence during “a crucial declaration of love staged with David chasing Wallis around a tree.” The latter introduces us to Abbie Cornish and Oscar Isaac — the latter singled out as one the few pleasures in the film — but unfortunately their scene is smothered in some shaky newsreel/flashback footage smashed into the proceedings.
So, did the critics have their pitchforks out for this one, or is it truly a disaster? Judge for yourself below. The film is…for now…set to be released on December 9th.