October 22, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

Madonna’s “W.E.” called “bold,” “confident” and “a total train wreck.” Which is it? – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Roman Polanski’s “Carnage” received mixed reviews at the Venice Film Festival this morning, though even the most negative reactions still found elements to praise. No one outright slammed it. Some just hoped for a little bit more from the straight adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s Tony Award-winning play.

Madonna, however, would kill for those types of reviews. Instead, the singer’s directorial effort “W.E.” was lambasted by critics who largely found Madge’s period romance to be unwatchable.

The Playlist calls Madonna’s film “a total train wreck,” tweeting that “good turns from Andrea Riseborough and Oscar Isaac aren’t enough to save it.”

Guy Lodge of InContention gives the film a D, writing, “Absurd charm-bracelet film in which we learn how little Madonna knows about love, history, humanity, narrative.”

Yet the Telegraph rides to Madonna’s rescue, writing that the film is “better than expected,” claiming Madonna has submitted “a bold and confident story about an American woman’s obsession with the Windsors.”

We’re waiting for the trades to chime in on Madonna’s effort, which moves on to Toronto after its Venice bow before opening in U.S. theaters on Dec. 9. But it’s an off-kilter start for “W.E.” We’ll see where it goes from here.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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