Abbie Cornish: Wally Winthrop
Andrea Riseborough: Wallis Simpson
James D'Arcy: King Edward VIII
Oscar Isaac: Evgeni
David Harbour: Ernest
James Fox: King George V
Judy Parfitt: Queen Mary
Haluk Bilginer: Al Fayed
Geoffrey Palmer: Stanley Baldwin
Natalie Dormer: Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Laurence Fox: Bertie
After directing the shortfilm Filth and Wisdom, Madonna tried her hand in directing this costume drama about King Edward VIII and his relationship with American divorcee Wallis Simpson, a relationship that cost him the throne.
W.E tells the story of two fragile but determined women - Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish) and Wallis Simpson - separated by more than six decades. In 1998, lonely New Yorker Winthrop is obsessed with what she perceives as the ultimate love story: King Edward VIII's abdication of the British throne for the woman he loved, American divorcee Wallis Simpson. But Winthrop's research, including several visits to the Sotheby's auction of the Windsor Estate, reveals that the couple's life together was not as perfect as she thought. Weaving back and forth in time, the film intertwines Wally's journey of discovery in New York with the story of Wallis (Andrea Riseborough) and Edward (James D'Arcy), from the glamorous early days of their romance to the slow unraveling of their lives in the decades that followed. (source: ONTD)
Directed by: Madonna
Written by: Alek Keshishian, Madonna
Produced by: Colin Vaines, Kris Thykier, Nigel Wooll
Production company: Semtex Films
Locations: France, UK, NYC
Date of filming: July - Sep. 2010
Released as: W.E.
Premiere: Venice Film Festival (Sep. 1, 2011); Toronto Film Festival (Sep. 12, 2011)
Release in theatres: Dec. 9, 2011 (US); Jan.-March 2012 (Eur.)
Runtime: 115 min.
Genre: Comedy / Romance
Vera Farmiga and Ewan McGregor were originally cast respectively for the roles of Duchess Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII, but backed out early. Amy Adams was also considered for the role of Simpson but in the end, the part went to Andrea Riseborough.
2012 Golden Globe Awards:
Award for Best Original Song (Masterpiece)
Nomination for Best Original Score (Abel Korzeniowski)
2012 Academy Awards (Oscars):
Nomination for Best Costume Design (Arianne Phillips)
The soundtrack is composed by Abel Korzeniowski. It also contains the ballad Masterpiece, written and sung by Madonna and produced by William Orbit.