> Madonna's W.E. premieres in Venice - in pictures
The critics have been divided on Madonna's latest, ranging from the one-star "royal disaster" terrible to "bold, confident" cinema. Read below to find out the critical word on W.E....
The Daily Mail (Baz Bamigboye)
"Madonna's film about the celebrated romance between King Edward VIII and the twice-divorced Mrs Wallis Simpson, and the grave constitutional crisis it caused, is exquisitely done - but it's going [to] prove divisive. A lot of people will loathe it, simply because it's been made by Madonna. But if they were to watch it with no knowledge of who directed, they would be pleasantly surprised."
The Daily Telegraph (David Gritten)
"W.E. is rather better than expected; it's bold, confident and not without amusing moments. Still, it's undeniably a strange concoction... Madonna presents these intertwined stories with the emotional level cranked up to 11. Abel Korzoniowski's crashingly loud music thrums repetitively like fevered heartbeats before yielding to a heartbreaking violin figure."
The Guardian (Xan Brooks)
"What an extraordinarily silly, preening, fatally mishandled film this is... Her direction is so all over the shop that it barely qualifies as direction at all. W.E. gives us slo-mo and jump cuts and a crawling crane shot up a tree in Balmoral, but they are all just tricks without a purpose. For her big directoral flourish, Madonna has Wallis bound on stage to dance with a Masai tribesman while 'Pretty Vacant' blares on the soundtrack."
The Playlist (Oliver Lyttelton)
"All in all, we can only imagine that The Weinsteins bought the film sight unseen, or that they're hoping to make a fast buck off the back of The King's Speech, because despite a couple of solid performances, the film can't be redeemed. We've never looked forward to Madonna going back on tour more, if only because it means that we'll know, for certain, that she won't be using that time to direct another movie."
Grazia (Emma Pritchard Jones)
"Wallis Simpson was the kind of woman who was accused of being more style than substance - and that, alas, is what Madonna has recreated on screen with W.E... Ultimately, it's as insubstantial as the midnight blue chiffon dress Wallis wears to dine with the King - giving us a tantalising glimmer of the flesh and blood woman who was a figure of controversy for much of the 20th century - but still veiled to our view."
What Culture (Andrea Pasquettin)
"Visually stunning, with great set decorations and costume design that brought back to life the splendor of those years, Madonna seems at ease in both worlds, the past of the old aristocratic England and the present, set in a New York that only serves as a set and doesn't really take part in the story."
W.E. will debut in US cinemas on December 9. A UK opening date is yet to be confirmed.