I've been watching the roll out of Madonna's film W.E. with a lot of interest. Aside from the fact that it is a film about women directed by a woman, Madonna is a huge celebrity and I can't think of any female directors who have as big a profile as she does. Women directors are not stars like male directors. Kathryn Bigelow has a high profile now because of her Oscar win, but most women directors operate under the radar screen.
I feel like Madonna is getting the Barbra Streisand treatment. The so you think you can be a singer, actor and a director. The get back into your box and stay there treatment. Clearly, Streisand has acquitted herself of this treatment by now, but I have read some of the press around the release of Yentl and it wasn't pretty.
It doesn't help that the review for W.E. have been pretty brutal. By now, it is clear that the film won't figure into Oscar conversations (maybe the Golden Globes), but since it is Madonna, and she is one of our biggest and most versatile stars, the movie could have some commercial prospects based on her name alone.
But there seems to be some anti-Madonna sentiment in the air. She seems to be pissing off people (fans) and these are people who have not even seen the movie yet. First, there was the freak out over her comment about disliking hydrangeas, and now she was booed at the opening of the film at the London Film Festival.
Reports said she was booed because she only spoke to a couple of fans on her way in to the theatre.
I guess the bigger question is why does Madonna bring out the hate so much? Is it because she feels she can direct a film? I'm not judging her directing before I see the film, but I am interested in seeing it. How many other people are given the benefit of the doubt? How many other directors get booed on the way into their movie premiere.
I think she has guts. She doesn't need to direct. But she wanted to tell as story of what she calls a "misunderstood" woman -- Wallis Simpson. Here's what she said:
She lived at a time when women didn't have the opportunities that they do now. She [Wallis] didn't have the chance to defend herself so I'm taking that opportunity now.
Maybe someone will have to make a movie about Madonna in 50 years to help people understand her.
Madonna Booed at London Premiere of 'W.E.' (Hollywood Reporter)