Although Madonna’s directorial debut, 2008’s Filth And Wisdom, was the sort of painfully indulgent dreck that gives a bad name to vanity projects, her follow-up already has some serious backing in The Weinstein Company, who just purchased the distribution rights to W.E. As first reported last year, the film (which Madonna also co-wrote) juxtaposes a fictional modern-day romance with that of King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, following a lonely New York woman in 1998 (played by Abbie Cornish) who’s obsessed with the story of the man who gave up his throne to be with the American socialite, but who discovers through extensive research that their lives together weren’t quite the fairy tale she always imagined. Madonna calls it a story “about the nature of true love, and the sacrifices and compromises that are often made,” adding that she’s “wanted to tell this story for a very long time”—although, didn’t she basically do that already in “Borderline”?
Well, whatever: With the British royal setting, Weinstein no doubt sees an opportunity for another King’s Speech run at obligatory Oscars recognition, and he definitely seems to think Madonna has improved as a director, saying she’s “really come into her own as a filmmaker.” That remains to be seen, of course. But provided she really did learn from Filth And Wisdom, and W.E. doesn’t have a scene where Cornish’s character breaks the fourth wall to spell out all that stuff about “the nature of true love,” Madonna will have definitely cleared that bar, at least.