10 Thoughts on W.E.


This has always been one of my favourite movies. I believe that it is grossly underappreciated and a beautiful retelling of the classic love story between Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII. Abbie Cornish is one of my favourite actresses and she does not disappoint in this movie, I also adore Oscar Isaac, his quirky, caring character.

So here are my 10 thoughts on the Madonna directed movie: W.E.

1. The symmetry is everything.

From the bathtub, to the tablecloth, to the bracelet, every flashback is introduced by a mirrored event in the current day. Having both characters be named Walli and wallis is a very obvious way of showing symmetry between the two. But the more subtle ways, the loveless first marriage, the husband home late for dinner (or missing it all together). All of these small similarities pulls the two narratives together and creates a cohesive understanding between the two storylines and characters.

2. No censorship whatsoever.

Even in the first scene of this movie we see nudity and abuse. It is shocking, but it creates empathy for Wallis, making us pity her for being in a loveless marriage. We also get the context on why she cannot have children later in life. Even with Wally’s fight later in the movie, it is brutal and mean and gives us a reminder of that symmetry I was talking about in the first point.

3. Ghost on your back.

Evgeni is one of the most loveable characters I have ever seen on screen. He is witty, cheeky and clever, but also selflessly empathetic and caring. I believe that if Wally was to ask him to leave her alone, he would, but when she does not, he understands that persistence is key and that showing up everywhere that she is will keep him in her mind. It does seem like he just wants to be there for her, he is not the one to make a move on her, it is Wally that takes their friendship to the next level. I love their relationship and I think this was the movie in which I fell in love with Oscar Isaac.

4. Fairy Godmother.

Having Wallis act as a kind of fairy godmother to Wally brings to two storylines together, but also offers us some insight into what Wallis was thinking and feeling and her advice for what lay ahead for Wally. She is portrayed in this movie as a feminist figure, using her femininity to move up in the world and that mentality gave Wally strength when she needed it.

5. Unhappy marriages.

It seems that this movie has no lack of unhappy marriages. Wallis in her first marriage, abusive and nonfunctional. Wally and William with his absence in the relationship and control over her. Wallis and Ernest, having David with them in the marriage, George and Elizabeth, with the latter taking all of the control despite the former being king and of course Wallis and David, which is undoubtedly the most successful of them all, but still on some level, unhappy. It seems that this movie is making the statement that even if you get what you’re looking for (Wally with her prince of wales) it might not be what is right for you and I think that that is an important lesson.

6. Kill em with intellect.

It seems that the hook for David was Wallis’ interest in his work and his endeavours where the country are concerned. I find this rather fascinating. Thelma is more beautiful and potentially better company than Wallis, but her intellect and humour is what brings her out on top. I love this lesson that any woman can be made more attractive with intellect.

7. A lot is held in a name.

The shift between friendship and love for Wallis and Edward is a subtle and obvious as the change of a name. The slip of the tongue at Thelma’s dinner is enough to let everyone know that the whole dynamic of the situation has changed. I enjoy the simplicity of it, if you are my friend, you call me Your Royal Highness. If you are to be my lover, you call me David. It is such an obvious labelling on who you are to him. I think we should bring this back, it would eliminate all of the grey area involved in dating nowadays.

8. Out of the bad, can only come good.

I am sure that you have heard the phrase “when you’re at rock bottom, the only way is up” and this seems to be exactly what has happened in Wally’s life. She hit rock bottom, hit it hard. But then, from there, she slowly built up her life to be in a greater state of happiness. It seems that William was the problem after all when it came to her fertility and she can finally let Wallis go, now that she has her life together. But there is no doubt that she would not be there if she had not hit rock bottom first.

9. The fairytale is not all it is set out to be.

I seems that this movie uncovered the lack of glamour involved in the story behind Wallis and Edward. It showed that for Wallis, it was not all endless love and passion, it was isolation, imprisonment and a loss of reputation. That does not mean that she and the Duke loved each other any less, but it does show that love is not the only thing one needs in their life. Companionship, friendship is also needed for one to be happy.

10. Madonna did well.

This movie is beautiful. The camera work is creative, the music was good enough to win a Golden Globe and the costume is just breathtaking. The amount of props and photographs that must have been taken and made to create the display at Sotheby's must have been massive and the end product is beautiful and engaging.

I so love this movie and I wish more people knew about it and loved it too! Please tell me if you have watched the movie and what you thought of it.

Until next time,
Stay peachy,
Paige x