Film

Madonna on red carpet for W.E.'s London premiere

US singer and director Madonna attended the London premiere of her royal romance movie 'W.E.', which is finally to be released in Britain on January 20 following a tortuous editing process.
The global style icon, who directed, co-wrote and co-produced the film, swept down the red carpet at the Odeon theatre in Kensington, southwest London, wearing a floor-length black Jean Paul Gaultier dress and Dolce & Gabbana cape.
The film, which charts the scandalous love affair between Britain's king Edward VIII and US divorcee Wallis Simpson, was re-edited after it received poor reviews when it was aired at last year's Venice and Toronto film festivals.
The 53-year-old director explained the film's message before Wednesday's screening.
'This movie shows that there is no such thing as perfect love, that all love requires compromise or sacrifice,' she said on the red carpet, where she was joined by the film's stars Andrea Riseborough and James d'Arcy.
'The other thing is that nothing is as it seems. You can look from the outside and think it's one thing but once you start investigating, it's something completely different.'
The love affair led to the abdication of Britain's then king.

From AFP Via Yahoo! News


Madonna 'Loitered' At Wallis Simpson's House

Madonna used to 'loiter like some weirdo' in front of the building where Wallis Simpson used to live.
The singer is making her directorial debut with 'W.E', about the American mistress of King George VI whom he gave up the throne to marry in 1936, and admits the building where she used live in London fascinated her.
She told Sunday Times Culture magazine: 'I filmed right around the corner and I did often go in front of her building and just stand around and loiter, like some weirdo, hoping to pick up something left in the air some kind of magic left behind.'
'I tried to imagine the king driving up every day for cocktails. And it turned out my daughter's best friend lives in that building, so I was able to go inside.'
Madonna who married British director Guy Ritchie and moved to England in 2000 - also said she felt she could 'relate' to Wallis' situation.
She added: 'I could relate to her feeling an outsider. I think Id' moved here and got married and had to start my life all over again. I felt like I didn't know anybody, and had no circle of friends, so there must have been an unconscious connection there.'

From contactmusic.com


Madonna Refused To Pay For Simpson Letters

Madonna refused to buy letters written by Wallis Simpson as she researched her new movie W.E. - and simply memorised their content instead.
Madonna studied various scripts and notes while writing the movie - but she refused to pay for the historical musings.
She tells Britain's Glamour magazine, 'I'm sure I've read every book on the Duchess of Windsor. And once people knew I was doing research and writing the script they wanted to sell me their letters.'
'I didn't purchase any, but I read them, noted the information and then said thanks, but no thanks. I watched every documentary ever made, and stayed at the house in the south of France that they lived in during the war - it's now owned by (Russian businessman) Roman Abramovich. I tried to go to places that they were at and soak up their energy. Of course, I wasn't allowed in Windsor Castle.'

From contactmusic.com


Madonna loaned rings to W.E. star

Abbie Cornish wore Madonna's wedding rings in 'W.E.'.
The Australian actress felt 'connected' to her director because of her willingness to use her own gems in the movie, including the bands she wore during her marriages to Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie.
Abbie told Style magazine: 'She would bring a box of her own jewellery and handpick stuff for me to wear. Almost every piece I wear in this film was hers. Cartier and Bulgari earrings, necklaces, bracelets. She has an incredible collection.'
'I wore both her wedding rings from her marriages to Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie. They were beautiful - white gold and diamonds. Every morning she'd bring them in and I'd put them on. It was nice to have that ritual and feel connected to her.'
Meanwhile, Madonna has revealed she used to orchestrate group sing-a-longs on the set of the movie when they had downtime.
She said: 'We would make up songs when we were waiting for the weather to change for outdoor shots.'
'When it's pouring down with rain and you're shooting outside stuck in some grey, dirty shack waiting for the sun to come out, what else can you do?'

From bigpondnews.com


Madonna Wanted To 'Soak Up' Energy Of King

Madonna surrounded herself with pictures of King Edward VIII when she worked on 'W.E.' to 'soak up' his energy.
The pop superstar spent two years researching the lives of the British monarch and his lover Wallis Simpson, for the film she has directed.
Madonna wallpapered an empty room in her house with images of the pair because she wanted to fully immerse herself in the couple's love story, which led to the British monarch abdicating the throne in December 1936 after being told he couldn't marry the American divorcee by the Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and the Church of England.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph newspaper, the 'Hung Up' singer said: 'I was sitting in a room that was completely and utterly inundated with their images so I could soak up their energy. I was trying to understand the nature of their love story and trying to figure out for myself if there is such a thing as perfect love.'
Madonna admits she became enthralled with the couple's romance because Edward was prepared to sacrifice his position and power for the woman he loved.
The 53-year-old star - who has four children, daughter Lourdes, 15, with fitness trainer Carlos Leon, sons Rocco, 11, and David, six, with ex-husband Guy Ritchie, and adopted girl Mercy, five - is currently in a relationship with French break-dancer Brahim Zaibat and she insists she knows what it means to be truly loved by a man.
Madonna - who was also married to Sean Penn - explained: 'I know what it feels like to be loved a lot, but no one's ever given up their kingdom for me.'
'W.E.' - which is released in January - is a two-tier tale about the life of King Edward and his wife Wallis and a modern-day woman called Wally Winthrop who becomes obsessed with the couple's relationship.

From contactmusic.com


Madonna's Masterpiece doesn't qualify for Best Song Oscar

Madonna's Masterpiece failed to be shortlisted for the Academy Awards Best Song nominations that was announced on Monday, but according to thewrap.com it was left off the shortlist purely because it didn't qualify not because it was snubbed:

The Academy announced the 39 qualifying songs in this year's race Monday, with a handful of big names in the running - but one Golden Globes nominee, Madonna, conspicuously missing.
'Masterpiece,' a Madonna song from 'W.E.' that received a Globe nomination last week, did not qualify for Oscar contention because of its placement a minute-and-a-half deep in the final credits. AMPAS rules require an end-credits song to be 'the first music cue' in those credits to qualify.

Here is the exact ruling from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:

To be eligible, a song must consist of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the film. A clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition of both lyric and melody must be used in the body of the film or as the first music cue in the end credits.


Korzeniowski: Following Madonna's marching orders

Madonna has more than a few things in common with Tom Ford beyond their mutual love of fashion. Both took on the challenge of filmmaking from the pinnacle of other creative expressions: his from couture, hers from pop. And Ford's influence on Madonna's sophomore directorial effort, 'W.E.,' about the scandalous love affair between King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, is evident in the film's Vogue-magazine visuals, exquisite costumes and Abel Korzeniowski's hypnotic music.
Madonna knew she wanted Korzeniowski to score 'W.E.' - which alternates between the royals circa '30s/'40s England and a modern-day New Yorker, Wally (Abbie Cornish), obsessed with their romance - from the get-go. After all, she had temp-tracked Korzeniowski's music from Ford's 'A Single Man' into the film's rough cut, and the 'Single' score had already been referenced early on in the screenplay she co-wrote with Alek Keshishian. So when Korzeniowski got the call last December, as 'W.E.' was in the early stages of post-production, it was a fait accompli.
'She basically interviewed Tom about me, how it is to work with me, and apparently she got a greenlight from Tom,' recalls Korzeniowski about their initial meeting in L.A.
Being a musician herself, Madonna provided the yin to Korzeniowski's yang by trying to keep things simple and direct. 'It is not the type of score where you go through crazy harmonic changes and modulations,' says Korzeniowski. 'This was one of the very precise notes I got from Madonna, that I was not supposed to over-think this music.'

To read the full article visit www.variety.com/article


Liz Smith: New York Swoons for Madonna and 'W.E.'

And more from our Liz: the star presents her film at the Museum of Modern Art
'I’ve shown this movie at festivals in France, Canada and England. And each time I’ve taken something different away from the movie, and recognized the different ways audiences react.'
'Now, I am so thrilled to be here with the movie at the Museum of Modern Art. As a child, museums were my escape and they formed the idea that I would grow up and become an artist - of some kind.'
'However, unlike my experiences in Venice, London or Toronto, nobody here has yet offered me a glass of champagne. So I’m going to see this movie sober. I hope I still like it!'
That was part of Madonna’s charming speech as she introduced her film, 'W.E.' and one of her stars Andrea Riseborough (who plays Wallis, the Duchess of Windsor) to a fashionable crowd Sunday. (It was a 'hot event night' in NYC. Over at the Ziegfeld Theater, Steven Spielberg’s 'War Horse' was having its premiere.)
This was supposed to be a 'small' screening, but what with Madonna could ever be small? Hosted by The Cinema Society and Piaget, it ended up with a lot of media, and mobs, outside MOMA, behind barricades, screaming for the icon. She was late, of course, which only increased the tension and hysteria when she finally slid glamorously out of her car. (After an aide adjusted her skin-tight pants and glittering top. She looked delicate and petite even in her towering heels.)
Madonna gave the red-carpet reporters and photographers inside as much as she could - if they had their way, she’d still be posing.
Among the throng - Kim Cattrall, Anderson Cooper, Donna Karan, Jeffrey Donovan, Jeremy Piven, Sandy Gallin, Nina Garcia, Hamish Bowles, Julian Schnabel, Barry Diller, Jacob Bernstein, Patti Smith. And but of course, Harvey Weinstein who is distributing 'W.E.' He greeted Madonna affectionately as she strode in, surrounded by her security, her press rep, her personal assistants and others who try to smooth out the bumps for one of the world’s most famous women.
Harvey introduced Madonna, praising her as a 'renaissance woman' with whom he has worked happily since 1990 - they first collaborated on her documentary 'Truth or Dare.' He also remarked that if 'W.E.' had been 'made by, you know...Joe Smith, well...' He was attempting to comment on the bad rap Madonna often receives for anything she does in film, whether acting or in this case, directing. When Madonna got to the podium she joked, 'By the way, Harvey, I don’t want to be Joe Smith' (I’m sure she would have preferred Scorsese or Polanski as a comparative reference point.)
Madonna also commented ruefully that now the movie is set in stone, 'I can’t change anything!' Nothing is ever perfect, nothing is ever easy for Madonna, and she has worked tirelessly on the editing of 'W.E.' melding her two onscreen tales - one, the real-life legendary sensation of a king abdicating his throne for 'the woman I love' - Edward VIII for divorcee Wallis Simpson. There is also the story of a contemporary young woman named Wally, suffering through an abusive marriage, who is obsessed with the story of Wallis and the man who became, briefly, King Edward VIII.
Both of these are compelling concepts. Either would have made a splendid film. It has been Madonna’s job to weave Wallis and Wally. 'Every little girl loves a fairy tale, a happy ending,' Wally declares, explaining her fascination with the Duke and Duchess. Having co-written the script with Alex Keshishian, those are Madonna’s words for sure. At heart, Madonna is a romantic and she does believe in happy endings, though she has yet to find one. (She has not stopped looking, however. Madonna genuinely respects romance.)
The crowd appeared fascinated by 'W.E.' which is a long movie, but there was no sense of restlessness - they loved the clothes (exquisite designs by Arianne Phillips)...they loved the eclectic score, which includes a new song by Madonna, sung over the closing credits...they loved the romance and the tragedy, too. (The Duchess was an unhappy woman, who felt she had ruined the King and trapped herself forever, 'playing out the world’s greatest romance - and now I can never leave him.')
Abbie Cornish as Wally, James D’Arcy as Edward VIII, Richard Coyle as Wally’s husband, Oscar Isaac as Wally’s charming savior, David Harbour as Ernest Simpson, James Fox as Bertie - who would step in as king after Edward abdicates - and Natalie Dormer, the future Queen Mother, are all splendid. Madonna certainly knows how to get the best out of actors. (Miss Dormer is especially delicious in her brief but telling scenes.)
And Miss Riseborough is simply brilliant as Wallis; brittle, poignant, imprisoned.
There was a party after, at a place called Crown. Madonna attended, and so too, it appeared, had everybody in the MOMA audience. It was one of those events where you had to just get over the embarrassment of being jammed up intimately against total strangers. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few pregnancies resulted from the 'W.E.' party. Yeah - it was that close. Madonna was at a corner table, ringed by bodyguards. People kept reaching in frantically, attempting to touch her or get her attention. It was kind of like a well-dressed zombie movie. But she was cool with the crush. This is her life.
Madonna’s 'W.E' opens in L.A. on Dec 9th for a week. (For Academy consideration.) It goes wide on Feb 3rd. Of course she is still a great pop star and concert attraction. She is scheduled to perform at halftime at the upcoming Super Bowl. Her new album will soon be upon us. But if Madonna wanted to devote herself only to filmmaking, she could. She is a fine director, and she made a beautiful, complex and moving work of art. And one that, despite its vintage subject matter, reflects this most modern woman in every frame.

From www.wowowow.com/liz-smith


Passionate director Madonna

Madonna was 'a joy' to work with on the set of 'W.E'.
Actress Andrea Riseborough - who plays lead Wallis Simpson in the movie, which was written and co-produced by the signer - found the star's 'passion and strength' in telling the tale of the American socialite 'infectious'.
Asked what Madonna was like to work alongside, she said: 'A joy. Her passion was infectious, her strength was admirable and we were complicit from the outset about how and why we wanted to tell this woman's story.'
The 30-year-old star has since been shooting new film 'Resistance' in Abergavenny, Wales, and admits after the landscape of her surroundings 'rubbed' off on her to the extent that she has now started speaking to her pet dog in Welsh.
Andrea explained to Total Film magazine: 'The DNA of the landscape rubs off on you. Every morning I'd be taken aback by how the light fell on the land. I didn't learn Welsh though, besides some words I say to my dog.'

From BigPondNews


Madonna Delays 'W.E' US Release To 2012

It's been a big week for Madonna news. A version of her song 'Give Me All Your Love,' off her still-in-the-works next album, leaked, much to the Queen of Pop's dismay. And now comes word that her film 'W.E.' won't hit theaters until next year.
Directed by Madonna, 'W.E.' was originally slated to open around the holiday season on December 9, but now it will have only a limited, one-week run beginning on that date before opening wide on February 3, the Weinstein Company confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. The short theatrical debut does, however, qualify the film for any awards-show consideration.
The new February 3 release date would also coincide with a February 5 Super Bowl performance that Madge is rumored to be planning. In September, the singer screened the film at the Venice Film Festival to mixed reviews. 'W.E.' follows the love story between American divorcee Wallis Simpson and Britain's Prince Edward, as well as that of a modern-day woman (played by Abbie Cornish) obsessed with the couple.
In addition to 'W.E.,' Madonna is set to release her album in the spring. Along with production assistance from Ray of Light producer William Orbit, rumor has it that both Nicki Minaj and rapper M.I.A. will make guest appearances.

From MTV.com


W.E. Reignites a Love Affair With Heritage Luxury Brands

Madonna's sophomore directorial offering, W.E., might not have Hollywood in a complete frenzy, but it most definitely has the fashion world clamoring and bracing itself for a revival of classic and elegant heritage luxury brands such as Vionnet and MAINBOCHER.
A dear friend and fashion editor recently returned from an extended trip to Europe where she had the opportunity to see Madonna's film W.E., based on the love affair of Wallis Simpson and Prince Edward VIII at the Venice Film Festival (U.S. release Dec. 9, 2011).
I had been waiting with baited breath for her personal review, but she got sidetracked with her return by Milan and Paris fashion weeks. But she too, could not wait to inform me in her thick Italian accent, 'Madonna's film is a visual and stylistic masterpiece, darrrrllllling.' She described in great detail every pin-tuck, corset, pencil skirt and shade of Wallis blue she witnessed dance across the screen. When I interrupted to ask, 'But how was the film?' She quickly fanned the question away, and went straight back into her rant of 'deep red lips, Vionnet, elegance, a return, pleated bodices, and Mainbocher.'
As a designer, from the second I heard Madonna was interested in making a film about Wallis Simpson, I knew she would spend a great deal of time making sure the fashion in the film was an integral part of her storytelling. And sure enough, by all accounts, from festivals in Venice to Toronto - everyone agrees - the movie will definitely herald a turning point in the direction of fashion and it's relationship with film.
From the newly released trailer to the production photos, one can see Madonna and her long time style collaborator, Arianne Phillips, have paid close attention to the strict and rigid, yet romantic style of Wallis Simpson. Madonna's Wallis Simpson somehow seems much softer and fluid from the morsels of information I have been able to gather.
By all accounts, there is something endearing about the tragically flawed and vulnerable Wallis Simpson played by actress Andrea Riseborough and directed by Madonna. There is something extremely unique about capturing these qualities in a single character, a uniqueness I think will be of great credit to Ms. Ciccone's vision as a director and also Ms. Phillip's creativity as a costume designer.
I am also informed that Mrs. Simpson's plutonic love affair with the American born designer, Mainbocher, is definitely present in every frame. I don't think there has ever been a greater love story between designer and muse outside that of Audrey Hepburn and Givenchy. But I believe what separates the Mainbocher and Wallis Simpson love affair is that their union is rooted deeply in American sportswear and sensibility.
Whenever a story is told about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor or their sensationalized love affair, it is virtually impossible to separate them from their iconic wedding photo. Wallis Simpson dressed in the most elegant Mainbocher wedding gown, standing proudly next to the man that had just abdicated the throne of England to spend the rest of his life with the woman he loves. It's enough to make Mister GoLightly weep from the very thought of it - L'amour, L'amour, L'amour...
However, in Madonna's version of events the recently relaunched house of Vionnet plays a much larger role in the film. The fashion was such a huge part of the film that Harvey Nichols in London recently held an in-house installation of recreated archival pieces by the famed French designer, Madeline Vionnet.
In a recent interview with British Vogue, Vionnet's current president, Matteo Marzotto said, 'The film W.E. gave Vionnet such a wonderful opportunity to showcase the exquisite craftsmanship and skill of the house. We were thrilled to be considered for the project and it was so exciting to be part of such a lavish production that portrayed one of history's most intriguing women.'
With all the renewed interest in these classic heritage brands and the successful relaunch of Vionnet (currently sold in over 200 stores worldwide), it is no wonder the fashion rumor mill is churning about the revitalizing of the ultimate style sleeping beauty - MAINBOCHER. With all the amazing talent floating around these days one must wonder who they will put at the helm of this classic and prestigious brand (wink-wink).
Who knows, maybe if Madonna continues her love affair - borderline obsession - with Wallis Simpson and Mainbocher, we could see her funding or even co-designing the collection? We must remember that one of Madonna's most iconic fashion moments was her recreation of the Mainbocher Corset with famed photographer, Horst. Who knows anything in this crazy world of fashion these days? But thanks to the Material Girl there is one thing we know for sure - the world is about to get a lot more elegant, sophisticated and yes - very, very romantic.

By Malcolm Harris / Huffington Post


Fan Pictures: W.E. Gala Screening - Part 6

madonnalicious reader Attila sent in these great pictures of Madonna after the screening of W.E. at the London Film Festival.

I attended the Gala Screening of W.E. on Sunday 23 October at the Empire Cinema London! We were sitting in the 7th row of the stalls but at the end of the film I quickly sneaked to the row where the cast were sitting and managed to take some close pictures of Madonna standing face-to-face in front of her!

Check back tomorrow for video clips that Attila filmed of Madonna's Q&A session.


Fan Pictures: W.E. Gala Screening - Part 5

STREZ shares his W.E. London Film Festival screening experience and pictures with madonnalicious readers:

The day started by fans gathering behind the set up barrier all the way from the early hours of the morning.
I had arrived rather late, 2pm, but still managed to get a spot right out the front of the barrier. But then came the dilemma; stay behind the barrier to watch 'The Queen' arrive and see her for the first time in the flesh, or, line up at the other cinema down the road to purchase last minute tickets to the movie when they would go on sale 30 minutes before the movie started. So I made an executive decision and stayed where I was, I figured I would watch the movie later and that seeing me life long idol was most important.
Luckily for me someone was selling tickets to the movie at cost price so I quickly nabbed the 'seven rows from the front' ticket and continued now not only to see the queen Madonna but to also go join her to watch her movie.
As soon as she stepped out of the car and on to the red carpet the crowd went wild! Everyone wanted a piece of her as she tried to move between signing autographs for fans and doing interviews for the press. The BFI security originally told us all that no one would be allowed on the carpet when the celebrities where arriving so those with tickets would have to wait right till the end to enter the auditorium. But the security were obviously NOT doing their job and even as the super star Madonna arrived, they were letting the general public walk the red carpet to the cinema.
The fans that had been patiently waiting behind the barrier where getting well angry as ticket holders on the carpet where crowding around Madonna to get a snap and blocking all view. In the end it became too crowded that they ushered Madonna straight into the cinema to which the fans replied with a loud boo.
Inside the 3500 seat auditorium Madonna came to the front and introduced the movie and some of the cast. As she adjusted the microphone stand she said 'You guys obviously think I'm shorter than I am'. I was only 7 rows from the front, watching my life long Idol talk candidly to the crowd. It was so surreal and so nice to have her in a quiet and intimate setting. She then took her seat in the middle of the auditorium and proceeded to watch the movie with us all (I would occasionally think of this and smile, I was chilling and watching a movie with my girl).
The moment the credits started to roll the crowd rose to a long and loud standing novation.
Afterwards she came back down to the front and had a question and answer session on the film with the artistic director of the BFI.
The movie was beautifully filmed from start to finish. The story was captivating, a little rushed at times I felt, got slightly confusing with the cutting back and forth especially if you weren't too familiar with the story of the Duke and Duchess. But in the end it all came together and made sense, and the reason for the modern day story that was interweaved with the story of the Duke and Duchess became quite important and necessary.
Ultimately it was a story about love and the struggles to make it work, which I think everyone can relate to. And also, as Madonna herself described, its about not judging something or someone on what you have heard but about doing as much research of your own as possible, realising there is always more than one side of the story, and that everyone's side of the story and how it made them feel is just as important.
It was a brilliant night, a truely great movie and a wonderful first meeting with my queen, Madonna.


Fan Pictures: W.E. Gala Screening - Part 4

madonnalicious reader Jamie Burgess was at the Gala Screening of W.E. in London at the weekend and shares his experience with our readers:

Just thought I'd share a couple of my picture as I was lucky enough to arrive on the red carpet the same time as Madonna. It was chaos and trying to get pictures was a nightmare with all the bouncers pushing ticket holders in to the venue. But overall it was a spectacular night and she looked amazing!


Fan Pictures: W.E. Gala Screening - Part 2

madonnalicious reader George Green (icongeorge on Icon) also attended the Gala Screening of W.E. and shares his experience and pictures with our readers:

I went down to Leicester Square at around mid day to find a few of Madonna's fans waiting outside while the barriers were starting to be put in place. The W.E. signs were up in place over the Empire Cinema and already excitement was kicking in!
When I returned later after some lunch and local drinks we walked the red carpet and spoke to many Iconers and Madonna related friends. It was more like an Icon get together in all honesty, was great to see so many familiar faces and those I have spoken to but not actually met! Just as we walked past the photographers and the huge crowd of spectators Madonna’s car arrived so we were ushered in!
Once inside I made my way to my seat which was the back row of the stalls R28. I could not believe that the row behind me, in the seat directly behind me, was where Madonna was to sit! Her name printed on paper attached to the seat. Was so excited to think I am able to share this moment with Madonna at such a special event.
Everyone took their seats and with a brief introduction to the stage Madonna made her entrance. Madonna then went on to introduce the movie before taking her seat. My favorite Madonna moment of the night occurred once Madonna was seated when a fan seated behind her shouted out something relating to the Lady GaGa comparison to which Madonna responded 'Lady Who?!' I thought great response!
The movie In my opinion did not deserve the bad reports it has received of late. To me the negative reports seem to focus more on the fact that Madonna is involved rather than the movie itself. I loved the filming technique, it was shot beautifully and the crossover of stories between Wallace and Wally worked alongside each other. I personally warmed more to the storyline of Wally more so than that of Edward and Wallace Simpson, and thought Abbie Cornish’s acting was flawless and made the movie for me.
The soundtrack was excellent and overall the whole production is something Madonna should be proud of. It was worthy of the standing ovation at the end of the screening. After applauding Madonna I managed to take a few photos to share with you all.
Madonna concluded the screening with a 15 minute Q&A session hosted by a London Film Festival spokeswoman/representative before leaving the venue. All in all I had a great night, really enjoyed the movie and it was great to spend a night at a Madonna event outside of musical performance. In addition to this I was able to meet and hang out with other Madonna fans which always makes these events much more enjoyable.


'Madonna was true to her own vision'

The critics have been sharply divided, but members of the public will soon be able to make their own mind up about Madonna's timehopping royal drama W.E.
At the UK premiere of the movie at the London Film Festival, Digital Spy spoke to the film's stars Richard Coyle, Andrea Riseborough and Katie McGrath.
'You've got that moment of 'It's Madonna',' McGrath said of working with the pop superstar. 'But 30 seconds in, she's so focused, she's so committed to the film that you forget it. You realise that it's a director working with an actor.'
'There's the initial thing of oh my God, she's standing in front of you, and then it goes away very, very quickly. And in a way, thank God, because I don't think I could have done it!'
Coyle added: 'I have immense respect for the way she directed this film. She was very particular, very driven and very true to her own vision. I have a lot of respect for that.'
Riseborough said: 'It's always incredible working with every different director because they bring so much of who they are as a person to their directing style.'
W.E. opens in the UK on January 20 and in the US on December 9.

From Digital Spy


Fan Pictures: W.E. Gala Screening - Part 1

madonnalicious reader David Varkonyi was at the gala screening of W.E. in London last night and sent in these pictures from the event and this report:

Given Madonna's history with cinematic flops and really not liking Filth and Wisdom I didn't expect much from this movie...Was really surprised that W.E. actually IS an excellent movie! Surely will get some kind of Oscar nomination, Andrea Riseborough might get a nod for best actress, she is great in it, Madonna might get best screenplay or movie or even director nomination. It comes out the end of January, an awful long wait, but it IS worth it! It is that good!


Who needs Lady Gaga?... Lady who?

madonnalicious reader Niall sent in his report from the gala screening of W.E. at the Empire Leicester Square last night:

Just thought I’d update you on my experience at the W.E. premiere last night.
I arrived at the same time as Madonna and was literally walking the red carpet behind her as she did lots of press interviews and chatted briefly to fans. Her trusty publicist Liz Rosenberg was at her side guiding her through the vast amount of press and photographers. Her manager Guy Oseary was also present and said hello to me. Madonna looked radiant but still very short in her high heels, it was hard to see her at times with all the attention swirling around her.
Once inside the huge 3,500 seater auditorium we took our seats. Posh mineral water and bars of Green & Blacks chocolate was laid out on every seat for people to enjoy. Madonna entered and the crowd went nuts. She stood up front and introduced the film and spoke a little about it and then introduced its stars. She then took her seat some five rows in front of me and as she did someone shouted 'You look gorgeous Madonna', to which Madonna elegantly smiled.
Another voice then shouted out 'Who needs Lady Gaga?' to which Madonna laughed and said 'Lady who?'
After the movie (which Madonna sat in her seat next to Guy for the entire time) she went back up front and did a question and answer session with the Artistic Director of the BFI and was very warm, witty and friendly.
All in all a pretty fabulous night!


Madonna 'nervous' at her film's London screening

Madonna admitted to an attack of nerves as she brought her new film W.E. to the UK to be screened at the BFI London Film Festival.
The 53-year-old singer - who co-wrote and directed the film - greeted fans on the red carpet at the Empire in London's Leicester Square.
She has already shown the film at the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, but revealed she felt under pressure showing it in Britain last night.
'It's slightly nerve-wracking because it's about a British king, it's predominantly filmed in Britain, it's a British production, most of my actors are English and I know the British can be tough critics. But I hope they like it.'
The film, the second feature directed by the superstar singer, looks at the romance between Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough) and Edward VIII (James D'Arcy), which led to the monarch's abdication, as well as a parallel modern-day romance.
The controversial passion between the king and extravagant socialite Wallis is told through the eyes of a lonely modern-day New Yorker, desperately seeking the fairytale happy ending that she believes the famous couple had.
Made In Dagenham star Riseborough and Secret Diary of a Call Girl's D'Arcy attended the BFI London Festival screening along with co-stars Laurence Fox and Richard Coyle.
The cast all agreed that Madonna was a very precise director who paid great attention to detail.
Riseborough, 29, said: 'She was extraordinary, because she was very prepared and passionate about the piece and that's what excited me when I first met her.'
D'Arcy revealed: 'As a director Madonna is about as prepared a person I've ever worked with.'
'Reams and reams of research she'd done. She gave me so many books and every single page was underlined, and if it wasn't underlined it was highlighted, and if it wasn't highlighted there was a post-it note on it.'

From AFP Via Yahoo! News


Madonna stylist praises Wallis Simpson

Madonna's stylist says Wallis Simpson was 'one of the best students of fashion'.
Arianne Phillips is an Oscar nominated costume designer for her work on films including the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line, and Tom Ford's A Single Man.
She has also been Madonna's stylist for years.
Madonna decided there was no one better to design the costumes for her new film W.E.
W.E. follows the life of Wallis Simpson, an American woman famous for causing Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor to abdicate the throne so he could marry her.
Arianne was inspired by Wallis's style.
'She was sexy in a painful way; a painful sexiness,' she explained to British newspaper The Telegraph. 'The clothes she wore were austere, but sensual. It was the movement of her body that made her attractive - she was like a perfume, or the way a veil moves - like a ghost almost. We use clothes to erase our mistakes and to highlight what we like; Wallis is one of the best students of fashion school in that way.'

From Belfast Telegraph


Madonna: Truth or Dare Heading to Blu-ray

Lionsgate Films have revealed that they are planning to release on Blu-ray Alek Keshishian and Mark Aldo Miceli's Madonna: Truth or Dare a.k.a In Bed with Madonna (1991).
The exact technical specs, region coding status, and special features to be included on this release are unknown at the moment. However, Madonna: Truth or Dare is expected to hit retail shelves in January 2012.

From www.madonnarama.com / www.blu-ray.com - thanks to Gianfranco


Madonna's 'W.E.' gets January UK release date

Madonna's new movie W.E. has been confirmed for a UK release early next year.
W.E., the music icon's second outing behind the camera after 2008's Filth and Wisdom, will open in cinemas on January 12, 2012 through StudioCanal.
Andrea Riseborough, James d'Arcy, Oscar Isaac and Abbie Cornish star in W.E., a drama that plays out over two timelines to show the affair between King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson and a contemporary romance between a married woman and a Russian security guard.
The London Film Festival will host the UK premiere of W.E. on Sunday, October 23 at the Empire Leicester Square.

From Digital Spy


Four Rooms Released on Blu-ray Disc

The 1995 film Four Rooms will be released by Emon Home Entertainment in Spain on Blu-ray Disc on Wednesday 05 October.
The film features four interlocking tales that take place in a fading hotel on New Year's Eve (including Madonna as Elspeth in the The Missing Ingredient segment).

Details:
1 Disc
Image: 1.85:1 1080p (High definition)
Audio: DTS-HD 5.1 English, Spanish
Subtitles: Spanish

Special content:
Making of Four Rooms
Extra scene by Tarantino
Trailer (Spanish and original versions)

Thanks to Juanjo


Madonna helped dress actors on W.E. set

Madonna's daily routine on the set of 'W.E' included helping to dress the actors and actresses.
The singer wrote the script for and directed the new movie - a two-tier tale about the life of Britain's King Edward VIII and his American wife Wallis, and a modern-day woman called Wally - and said her on set rituals included dressing the stars including Andrea Riseborough and Abbie Cornish.
She explained to flicksandbits.com: 'One of my rituals, one of the most important rituals for me was to help finish dressing the actors or the actresses. I loved putting the finishing touches on them, and feeling a connection with them before we began the day of shooting. So putting on their necklaces and their bracelets, fine-tuning their hair and clothes and kind of finding an excuse to touch them, basically, was my ritual.'
She also admitted that Wallis Simpson intrigued her because there is 'nothing fabulous about her background'.
Madonna said: 'She was and is a very provocative character in the history of world politics, in the world of fashion, in the decision that King Edward VIII made to leave the throne. I dont think it was ever done before. It changed the British Empire, it changed things enormously.'
'And she is a mysterious, enigmatic creature - not conventionally beautiful, not young, twice divorced, there's not anything fabulous about her background. Yet somehow she managed to capture the heart of the man who, at the time, held the most important position in the world. That story intrigued me immensely, I wanted to understand it.'

From BigPond News


A makeover for Madonna's movie?

Madonna is being quietly urged to re-edit some scenes of her movie about the love affair between King Edward VIII and Mrs Wallis Simpson, who later became the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
If Madonna wants W.E. to be a contender this awards season, she must act fast and have a new version ready by the UK premiere at the BFI London Film Festival on October 23.
An executive close to the film said that, now it has been shown at the Venice and Toronto festivals, Madonna has a brief window of opportunity to decide how to shape her movie to best advantage.
‘We see shots of a lot of corridors, so they can go, and other scenes can be trimmed,’ the executive told me.
In fact, the picture could be cut by ten minutes without compromising the director’s vision, which brings a rock ’n’ roll sensibility to a love story we all thought we knew.
It has the advantage of being visually stunning and benefits from an excellent central performance by Andrea Riseborough as the Duchess.
Also, Madonna’s take on what Wallis had to give up to be with Edward (or David, as his family and mistresses called him) is incredibly moving. She was in a mink-lined prison: able to have anything she desired but, ultimately, lonely.
Madonna runs a parallel modern-day story featuring Abbie Cornish and Oscar Isaac that acts as a commentary on what the Duchess had to endure, and although it stops the film becoming a heritage picture, some critics feel it slows the narrative down.
When Madonna and I spoke in Venice, she acknowledged that ‘maybe it needs a bit of this and a bit of that, and maybe it is still a work in progress’.
She laughed and added, with a hint of frustration: ‘For God’s sake, I hope it’s over with soon!’
Films get re-cut all the time, so there’s no shame in going back to the editing suite. At least she hasn’t got to shoot additional scenes, a common practice in the movie business.
Madonna said she wouldn’t mind doing a special screening for the Royal Family. ‘Maybe if they saw them (the Duke and Duchess) as human beings, it might help.’
I doubt the Queen would ever command a performance and, if she did, it would never be publicly acknowledged. But if the director and Her Majesty were to meet, perhaps Madge could ask permission to do a movie on the Queen Mother.
‘That would be an interesting subject. She was a tough cookie,’ she told me.

From Baz Bamigboye / www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz


Report from inside the Toronto press conference

madonnalicious reader Matt attended both the W.E. press conference and premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival - here is his report and review:

Madonna was radiant promoting W.E.; dressed in mint condition, agreeable, friendly, cordial, smiling. It was refreshing to see her be so kind and open. The conference lasted 45 minutes...which is the equivalent of 8 Madonna years. She took dozens and dozens of questions about her life, the movie, the process of filming and writing, and her career.
Obviously, I was in heaven; all right, I was having an out of body. But, I had to keep me cool; I pretended I worked for a film company so my friend could sneak me in. I was the youngest there by a longshot. The writers seem to be mostly older men and women who pounced on me; they were chatting me up and asking me to send them screeners of the movie.
My favorite quip from Madonna was in response to a statement made by a reporter likening Wallis' romantic experience to Madonna's: 'Madonna, I am sure you know what it feels like to be loved so much; I mean, any man would give up his kingdom for you.' She rejoinders:' 'I wouldn't count on it!'
Another clever reply came when she was asked: 'Madonna, what is in your jewelry box?' She replied coyly: 'I have a few nice pieces...but, the nicest things I have I gave myself.'
She slips in between 'Madonna dialects'; polished and faux British, mid Western twang, accentless American English. She bats her eyes a lot as she takes questions and formulates her thoughts. It is an affectation that lends import to every word she utters.
Her press agent was adamant that the reporters not photograph Madonna while she answered questions. Madonna kept shooting her knowing stares. Madonna piped up finally and insisted that the photographs 'were a distraction' going as far as to say, 'How close is that bulb?!' 'I can't concentrate.'
It really was too close; I agreed with her. I even liked how she tried to be diplomatic by saying, 'How about I answer a question. Then you can take a picture.' They feigned agreement. She beamed, 'Democracy!' But, the reporters did not let up. And, there was no way for her to get out of the pickle without looking like a controlling bitch. It made me realize that with this project she really is in the hands of the public. She laughed about the 'Hydrangea-incident' at Venice Film Festival, a nod to self-deprecation.
Following oodles of questions and photos of Madonna, her bodyguards escorted her out and Abby Cornish came in. Abby is beautiful; Nicole Kidman smile on a Kate Winslet body. She has a very fresh and pretty face. She is a curvaceous gal. Not a rail like some of the others.
The day of glory continued with the premiere of the film which started at 6:30; I was seated in reserved seating three rows behind Madonna and the cast. The audiences in Toronto are so respectful, courteous and genuinely excited to be a part of the magic. Madonna introduced the film saying, 'As many of you know, I am from Detroit, so I am practically Canadian...I love Toronto so much; even though they have tried to arrest me here.'
Just as I thought the crowd would continue it's demure attitude towards the stars, the crowd began screaming for her. You have never seen anything like the shouting: 'Madonna! Madonna! Madonna!' It was like they were seeing a saint. Religious zeal is what it felt like; you know when people go crazy and seem drugged up and nuts? That was the way these fans acted. These fans make me look like a calm cool collected wallflower.
What was great was that I was on the inside seeing the whole process unfurl. These stars are on a year long campaign to promote their movies, meet the press, get the word out, and aspire to some kind of lasting artistic glory. Madonna said that her musical performances are so 'primal, such an instantaneous give and take', while film is much more of an intellectual undertaking. Which takes us to the movie...

My read is: one part Kings Speech (history), two parts Single Man (styling), one part Julie Julia (narrative device). See it and tell me if you agree.
The film was beautiful; it has a modern plot that is used as a lens to understanding the romance of Wallis and Edward. My feeling is that the acting of Andrea Riseborough who played Wallis was outstanding. I bumped into Andrea at the Soho House after-party for W.E. and told her how much I loved her dancing and her Dolce and Gabbana dress. She was kind and took the time to ask me my name and really gave Madonna a lot of credit. (I overheard her introduce herself to Gerard Butler saying, 'Hi, I am Andrea.' He said, 'Oh, what are you here promoting?' She responded, 'W.E. You know, Madonna's movie.')
The score to the movie is sensational; the dialogue is a little contrived at times. Such a shame. I could have edited it college app-style and done some less cheesy transitions. I feel like the public will be hard on the movie and not appreciate the styling and the film techniques which were really beautifully interwoven into the story (because, like I said, it is told as a lens so the movie shifts through decades; a cup and saucer at the Sotheby's auction is a catalyst for a party at Bois Boulogne in 1936 Paris. it is a device that works, though, in my opinion and I never felt confused by it).
The costumes. THE COSTUMES! Jesus! The costumes are marvelous. There is a sexy silver dress Wallis wears as she dances. I hope my friend Tom Ford makes a dress like that next season; it would be perfect for his collection's aesthetic!


Madonna: King Edward VIII was 'very punk rock'

Britain's King Edward VIII was 'very punk rock,' Madonna said Monday at the North American opening of her film 'W.E.,' about his infamous romance with American divorcee Wallis Simpson - and his subsequent abdication.
'I thought King Edward VIII was very punk rock,' she said, explaining how a salty anarchist anthem by the English punk band The Sex Pistols ended up on the soundtrack for her second directorial work, starring British actors James D'Arcy and Andrea Riseborough.
The band's 1977 single 'God Save the Queen' attacked Britons' social conformity and deference to the Crown.
'I thought he (King Edward VIII) was quite rebellious and cutting edge in his point of view about life and about how to run the empire and using the Sex Pistols was a perfect marriage,' Madonna said.
In Venice, where the film premiere earlier this month, the Queen of Pop said there were 'elements of myself' in the film, and said she could sympathise with Wallis as an outsider, an American living in London.
At the Toronto International Film Festival, Madonna added that Wallis 'was and is a very provocative character.'
'She is also a mysterious and enigmatic creature, not conventionally beautiful, not young, twice divorced, not anything fabulous about her background and somehow she managed to capture the heart of the man who at the time held the most important position in the world.'
'That story intrigued me immensely and I wanted to understand it.'
'But also I was interested in the concept of the cult of celebrity which we are all consumed with now, and then.'
Polish classical composer Abel Korzeniowski set up the movie's haunting score.
He tried to explain to reporters that Madonna had urged him to 'not try to be talented.' Madonna interrupted, 'No, I said: 'Don't over-think it.' I always wanted you to be talented.'
The clash of his classical and Madonna's pop backgrounds, he continued, resulted in 'the most interesting thing.'
'I found myself learning very interesting things (from Madonna) about music, which helped me in my classical thinking,' Korzeniowski added.

From AFP Via Yahoo! News


Press Pictures: W.E. Premiere

The North American premiere of Madonna's W.E. took place at the at 36th Toronto International Film Festival last night. Madonna is pictured below with actresses Andrea Riseborough and Abbie Cornish.

Madonna was wearing a Tom Ford dress with strappy Brian Atwood heels, Neil Lane jewellery and a Ferragamo bag.

Pictures from AP / Reuters Via Yahoo! News


Madonna nervous of film critics

Madonna - 'one of the most famous people in the world' as she was introduced - admits she's nervous and feels pressure about how W.E., her second feature film as a director, will be received.
'Of course I do because I knew and I had the same kind of pressure when I began my music career,' said the Material Girl, 53, femininely dressed in a red dress at her TIFF press conference on Monday afternoon before the movie's gala screening on Monday night. 'And I was nervous and I didn't know what to expect and people didn't know what to expect. I had to earn my way in the world being taken seriously in the music department and now I'm well aware that I have to do the same in the world of film.'
But she only cares what the critics say about the luxurious looking film about an unhappily married Park Avenue woman named Wally (Abbie Cornish) obsessed with King Edward VIII's decision in the '30s to abdicate the throne for a life with American divorcee Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough) if it's fair criticism.
'I can tell when people are reviewing my film and when they're reviewing me personally. I welcome criticism of my film when it's viewed as an artistic form and not when people are mentioning things about my personal life or my achievements in any other field because they're irrelevant.'
Madge, no wallflower, says she didn't think of herself per se as 'the boss' on the film set but rather 'the storyteller. The person that was there to collaborate with a group of very talented people who were going to help me tell my story.'
In fact, she says she would strum a guitar and make up songs to entertain the cast and crew between shots.
'It was a way to pass time. When it was pouring down rain and you were shooting outside and you were stuck inside some grey, dirty shack waiting for the sun to come out, what can you do but make up a song? (Starts singing) 'We're making a movie, isn't it groovy, welcome to my house.' That was one of them.'
She also said before each shot involved paying attention to detail to the gorgeous costumes, jewelry and hairstyles worn by both Cornish and Riseborough.
'I loved feeling a connection with them before we began a day of shooting,' said Madonna, who also had Cornish and Riseborough working out with her trainers. 'Finding an excuse to touch them was my ritual.'
Her choice to use the Sex Pistols song Pretty Vacant in a party scene involving Simpson and the King in the '30s was simple, she said: 'I think that King Edward the 8th was very punk rock. I thought he was quite rebellious and cutting edge in his point of view about life and how to run the empire. And I thought using the Sex Pistols was a perfect narration to the monarchy at the time and what they were doing drinking Benzedrine cocktails while watching a Charlie Chaplin film.'
And when asked if Johnny Rotten - aka John Lydon, who's also in a film, Sons of Norway, at this year's TIFF - knows about the song's inclusion in W.E, she joked: 'Of course he knows, I had to pay him!'
W.E. is being released in December which is Oscar season and Madonna joked: 'My legs and my fingers are crossed.'

From Toronto Sun


W.E. is one of the most pleasant film surprises in years

Madonna is the most famous female pop artist of all-time. However, the words 'Madonna' and 'film' usually don’t go together. Just go watch the films Shanghai Surprise, Swept Away, The Next Best Thing, or Body of Evidence. Behind the camera, however, Madonna the director proves to be almost as brilliant a Madonna the pop star.

To read the full review visit www.examiner.com/pop-music-in-chicago

Thanks to Gareth