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Watch: First Footage From Madonna's Venice Flop 'W.E.'

by Kevin Jagernauth
September 3, 2011 2:23 AM
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The fall festival season had its first major league flop as Madonna's sophomore directorial effort "W.E." was roundly crucified and/or dismissed as an opulent folly after its premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Our own Oliver Lyttelton gave the film an F, saying that "despite a couple of solid performances, the film can’t be redeemed," pointing to a litany of gaffes from clumsy editing and shot blocking to the script itself, which offers very little reason to be providing two parallel storylines that seemingly have little to connect them. Naturally, the failure has grown curiosity about the film, and two clips have now landed online that give a taste of what Madonna delivered to the critics in Italy.

If anyone had anything good to say about the film, it was regarding the costume design and yes, these scenes look good. But that's about where the compliments end. Clunky and overwrought dialogue plague both clips, with the first proving to be one of Oli's examples of Madonna's inability to structure a sequence during "a crucial declaration of love staged with David chasing Wallis around a tree." The latter introduces us to Abbie Cornish and Oscar Isaac -- the latter singled out as one the few pleasures in the film -- but unfortunately their scene is smothered in some shaky newsreel/flashback footage smashed into the proceedings.

So, did the critics have their pitchforks out for this one, or is it truly a disaster? Judge for yourself below. The film is...for now...set to be released on December 9th.

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  • Peter Stuyvesant | December 19, 2012 4:22 PMReply

    Amanda Casabianca Whelan - Super Amanda
    A chubby 'model,' a personality disorder and a computer in E2

  • Anonymous | October 27, 2011 12:50 PMReply

    its sucks just as bad as her last 5 albums

  • Jury | September 10, 2011 12:16 PMReply

    The reviews I read were good to mixed. I read one bad review that said it had some redeeming qualities. Go figure.

  • darolo | September 10, 2011 11:28 AMReply

    The movie will be a hit! Get over it and all your petty comments aimed at an inspirational woman. W.E. received. 10 minute standing ovation at the actual Premiere. Who gives a damn what critics think. It's their job but they're never objective. They certainly can't see past the fact that it's Madonna. The same UK critics gave "Black Swan" only 2* last year. They keep showing this Edward & Wallis clip but not the Wally/ Yevgeni clip which is searching and relevant.this is a movie of parallels and parallel clips should be used to demonstrate it's intricately woven thread. No-one is going to be embarrassed by this movie. I'm sure it will surprise you all and despite the above emphasis on negativity I challenge you to go and see it. I will be saying "I told you so"!

  • Cinimod | September 4, 2011 11:45 AMReply

    Wow! Those two scenes looks actualy very good! Can't wait to see the movie

  • Christopher Bell | September 4, 2011 9:52 AMReply

    Where's Edward Davis when you need him?

    We need to construct some sort of whistle.

  • James | September 4, 2011 8:44 AMReply

    Wow! That tree scene is the most unintentionally funny thing I've seen in ages. Between the completely inappropriate music, random movements of the people and the bizarre camera work, I was in hysterics. i think Madonna has inadvertently made the next "Mommie Dearest"/"Showgirls".

  • The REAL Super Amanda | September 4, 2011 8:02 AMReply

    Stop lying Evin or whomever you are. I'm not a Madonna fan and never will be. All your stalking won't change the fact this film is BOMB. Straight to dvd!

  • SuperAmanda | September 4, 2011 6:18 AMReply

    Yeah, Casabianca. I agree with you.

  • Casabianca Madonna Fan | September 4, 2011 6:15 AMReply

    I think Madonna is a great artist. Why do people get off on trying to bringvher down.

  • Eden | September 3, 2011 8:16 AMReply

    Giannis- go check the BBC, Billboard, and other press outlets that state it received MIXED reviews, not that it was universally panned. Stop with the sensationalism.

  • realfleadip | September 3, 2011 8:15 AMReply

    That is not the real flea dip from the Anti Madonna site and board posting here, and that is not the real Super Amanda posting on here. The "real" Super Amanda still dislikes Madonna too.

    The real flea (that would be me) still does not like Madonna, and I don't have much interest in seeing her "WE" movie (outside of watching to get a good laugh at how terrible it is).

    Based upon most reviews, Madonna's "WE" film is laughably bad and a complete failure.

  • Ludwig | September 3, 2011 8:05 AMReply

    Giannis: “telegraph”, “screendaily”, “the independent”, “dailymail” and a culture website (and several journalists online talking on twitter) have all given it good reviews. The dailymail is certainly not the only one.

  • GiannisDrakos | September 3, 2011 7:31 AMReply

    Jon, please! t avoid doing the "madonna fan death roll" where the fan latches onto the negative reviews and tries to twist them and contort them with anger and pain into some kind of fantasy where Madonna is above all reproach and all her films are masterpieces we secretly worship.

    The daily mail is the only positive review. All the others are ranging from mixed with patronizing pity to REALLY scathing. 99% negative reviews is not "mixed" it equals fail.

  • Tinka | September 3, 2011 6:45 AMReply

    I never thought Playlist could go THAT tabloid. As far as I followed the critics, the film got mixed (good and bad) reviews. Wow, Madonna bashing is going strong here. I don't care if that movie is a hit or not, but I definitely don't care for biased and hateful reporting.

  • Jon C | September 3, 2011 6:39 AMReply

    For something that's a "flop" and is so insignificant and not worth our time as you will make us believe, your team surely seems incredibly obsessed with it and it's director. I find that a lot, though not all, of the very negative reviews spent most of their time "reviewing" the director than really dissecting the film or judging it objectively. The film has received mixed reviews as have others at the festival, I hardly would see that as a flop thus far. I don't think the scenes, especially the Wallis one, warrant the grade of F.

  • FleaDip | September 3, 2011 6:37 AMReply

    I used to run an anti-Madonna site. But now, I am a huge fan. I'm not into her movies too much, but this one doesn't look so bad.

  • A.Whelan | September 3, 2011 6:36 AMReply

    I am a huge Madonna fan. I still have pictures of her up all over my wall. I hear, from people who ACTUALLY saw the movie, that it's not that bad.

  • SuperAmanda | September 3, 2011 6:34 AMReply

    There are actually a lot of very good reviews for the film. Check out the reviews from Screen Daily, The Daily Beast, The Telegraph, The Independent and Huffington Post. Why are people so desperate to see Madonna fail?

  • Legolas2186 | September 3, 2011 5:56 AMReply

    Oh dear I just watched the clip... the film will continue to flop and embarrass Madonna and it should not have to be this way. I can't believe how bad that clip was and yet so short. 'What is the use of counting the mango trees, eat the mango'. She must rest her music laurels now and stop chasing the respect for film she will never achieve. I see her talking at Venice like an ages prostitute and I feel so sad for her.

  • carrie | September 3, 2011 5:42 AMReply

    maybe a better editing can save the movie?

  • Legolas2186 | September 3, 2011 5:35 AMReply

    I used to love Madonna so much and I've edited all her her wikipedia pages but now I wish she would just retire and go away. She is embarrassing us all who remember her before the facelifts, the rent boys and the two dozen failed films. I'm sorry but she is nothing but a rich whore.

  • Taylor | September 3, 2011 3:55 AMReply

    How was the score???

  • elza | September 3, 2011 3:23 AMReply

    the fun part is if you really hated the movie that much, why do you have to write so many posts about it?
    Are you that happy to see Madonna fail?

  • dulce | September 3, 2011 3:19 AMReply

    I don't think those two scenes warrent an "F" right off the bat...not that it matters...Madonna is Madonna.
    She's been around a long time, knock her down, she gets right back up, moves on and keeps raking in the millions. She's strong, opinionated and successful, that's why people hate her.

  • Read It & Weep | September 3, 2011 3:02 AMReply

    Readers here are beyond embarrassing and desperate. This film has been SAVAGED in reviews. The Weinstein Company, mark my words, are going to take this off their Oscar 2011 list and dump it into TBD 2012 because they know it has zero Oscar chances, you watch.

    So fucking protective are fans, they'll try and do anything to change the narrative of reviews from Venice and or try and think there's some bias going on. Have you guys noticed how many posts they did about this film in advance? A hella lot more than most did. Look for Simon Dang who writes for this site. He must have done half a dozen stories in anticipation. I think it was even on their most anticipated of 2011 list.

    But keep dreaming on and twisting and turning in the wind if you want, ain't gonna help.

  • KitCon | September 3, 2011 2:53 AMReply

    If anything, having the Weinstein's behind this raised people's expectations so I don't think critics had their knives out like they did for Transformers 3. I thought Oli's review was even toned. I just wonder what Harvey was thinking.

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