TIFF today is all Monday. The presser happened earlier this afternoon. The carpet is tonight. Then there’s a dinner party. And it’s all anyone cares about. And Shinan Govani of the National Post tweeted a couple of hours ago that Guy Ritchie might be in town...?
But what about the film?
What was shown in Venice is NOT the version that will be screened here. I’m told it was re-cut specifically for Toronto knowing that what comes out of TIFF is much more important. Press have been viewing it for the last few days, including my friend M, a hardcore Madonna fan and non-Madonna cinephile. I’ve included his thoughts below:
Okay, yes I did screen it today involuntarily wearing my gay goggles (Madonna! Madonna! Madonna!), but I have to say it's nowhere near the colossal embarrassment that Venice crowned it. It seems like she studied A Single Man and The Hours as director prep. There's also a group-of-umbrellas-in-the-rain-overhead-pan she stole from Alan Parker's Evita.
It is beautifully shot. The cinematography and costumes are gorgeous. So much so that at times it really does look like a perfume commercial. That's where W.E. differs negatively from A Single Man. The indulgences are much more glaring, as the narrative base doesn't excuse them as much in the former as in the latter.
There were times I wished she would settle down and let a scene breathe before jumping around so much. Too many black and white cutaways. And out of focus closeups.
Andrea Riseborough is very good.
Abbie Cornish is a wet noodle. The Cornish romance was a bit contrived, but not without its charms. The Russian security guard was very cute. And of course being a Madonna directed film, he has a great ass.
The Cornish scenes take place in 1998 and I'm pretty sure the Cornish character wouldn't be able to watch old Wallis/Edward stock footage on her computer as she does in the film. Technical anachronism?
There are moments of true humour that show the film doesn't take itself too seriously. Then they're followed by a swelling score juxtaposition. Still, the music is really good. Very Phillip Glass.
All in all, 2 and a half stars. 3 (with gay goggles) at most.
In other Madonna news, have you seen her hydrangea video?
I have tried really hard all day to be excited about this. Because as a child of the 80s, I will always want to love Madonna. Always, always, always. But... I keep thinking I’ve seen it before.
Photos from Wenn.com