May 30, 2017

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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