Now available on Blu-ray combo pack and DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment
W.E. is the story of a modern day New Yorker, Wally (Abbie Cornish), who falls in love with a romance. The romance that is believed to be one of the greatest in the twentieth century, the romance between King Edward VIII (James D’Arcy) and Mrs. Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough). Wally is a girl who is seen by the outside as a woman who has the perfect husband; a successful psychologist who is not only smart, hardworking, and rich but also very attractive. Behind the closed doors, Wally is feeling that her marriage is anything but perfect. Years before in the twenties, Wallis Simpson found herself to be the romantic interest of the most eligible bachelor in the United Kingdom, the Prince of Wales. W.E. takes a look at the lives and romances of these two women separated by decades but brought together by their passions and heartbreaks.
Visually, W.E. is beautiful. The costumes and sets are superb, in both the period and modern worlds. In the various scenes, there seems to be a tie in between the two worlds through the costuming. The costuming on Mrs. Simpson is particularly impressive. The clothing she wears reflects not only her personality but what is going on in her life at the moment. In the movie, the character of Mrs. Simpson mentioned that although she may not be the most attractive women at the party, she will be the best dressed. The costume designer took this statement to heart. It is also obvious that dresses were recreated when using old photographs and news reels, which gives an air of authenticity.
Unfortunately, the story does not hold up to the vivacity of the visuals and the separate storylines never come together as a cohesive whole. For most of the movie the only connection between the two stories is an exhibit of items formerly belonging to the Duke and Duchess of Windsorwhich that are up for auction at Sotherby’s. Later in the movie, Wally comes in contact with personal letters from Wallis Simpson to friends and family. The portion of the film in which she reads the letters occurs so late in the film that it bears little relevance in the scope of the rest of the narrative, when it should have been a focal point from the beginning. As a result, you end up with two stories whose connections are so loosely organized that it can be frustrating to watch. W.E. would have worked much better as a straightforward romantic bio-pic from the view point of Wallis Simpson. After all, any remotely interesting information in the film derives from her story, but is never covered in any sort of detail.
The Blu-ray combo pack of W.E. includes the blu-ray, DVD, and a digital copy of the film. The release also includes The Making of W.E., featuring Madonna.