'W.E.' A Film About Making Our Own Destiny
With rumours spreading around town of Madonna’s arrival in Toronto, fans and media alike were pumped and anxious to see the Material Girl in person.
During the press conference of her film W.E., media were given a a list of house rules along with a stern warning to follow them or deal with the consequences of being thrown out.
Ninety seconds was all the time allotted for photographers to feverishly snap photos of the infamous Madonna, before being escorted out of the Malaparte room at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.
After all the clicks, flashes of light and shouts “Madonna look to your right”, “Madonna up here”, “Madonna a big smile please” - no photographers were permitted to stay in the room during the press conference. Even journalists who stayed for the press conference were not permitted to take photos with their camera phones.
After moderator Richard Crouse introduced the panel of guests, second-time director Madonna explained in great detail exactly why she was fascinated with the story of Wallis Simpson and her love affair with King Edward VIII, so much that she made a film about it.
“I was always fascinated with the story of Wallis Simpson and King Edward the VIII’s decision to abjugate the thrown for the woman he loved,” says Madonna. “I wanted to investigate that story and his reasons and try to understand what it was about this woman that would lead this man to make such a big sacrifice.”
The Material Girl was never interested in making a straightforward biopic, so she created the modern day story and character of Wally Winthrop to offer a point of view in which to tell this story.
“I think in the end, truth is subjective and we can all read the same history book and have a different point of view and get something different from it,” she continues. “So it was important for me to not present the story and say ‘this is the one and only story,’ but rather to say ‘this is the story that moved me and inspired me.’ That’s how the two love stories were created.”
Featuring Abbie Cornish (Suker Punch) as Wally Winthrop, a woman in 1998 who is infatuated with the 1930s marriage of King Edward VIII (James D’Arcy) and American divorcée, the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough). Spanning six decades, W.E. gracefully weaves the past and present into two parallel love stories.
The underlying message behind the film W.E., is one of love and of having the courage to make the difficult choices we all have to make.
“I think the message of the film is to realize that in the end, happiness lies in your own hand, and that we are in fact in charge of our own destiny,” says Madonna. “And even though we are dealt a hand of cards from the day we are born, we can change our destiny.”
“Is our fate in the stars or does it lie within ourselves, I think that it is a big question in the film. i mean obviously there are many things explored, the idea of love, the idea of motherhood, but also this idea of fate ... ” Abbie
“Is our fate in the stars or does it lie within ourselves, I think that it is a big question in the film. i mean obviously there are many things explored - the idea of love, the idea of motherhood, but also this idea of fate,” adds Cornish.
As for whether or not Madonna cares what critics think about her film:
“Well, I do when I think it’s a fair criticism. I can tell when people are reviewing my film and when they are reviewing me personally,” says Madonna. “I welcome criticisms 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. They are irrelevant to the film. So when they stick to the film, I do care. I pay attention to it.”
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