Madonna's crown slips with mediocre movie reviews

Fri Sep 2, 2011 6:39am EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

VENICE, Italy (Reuters) - Madonna may be the "queen of pop," but her crown as movie director slipped this week after most early reviews of her second feature film "W.E." ranged from middling to poor.

The picture, which had its world premiere at the Venice film festival on Thursday, is loosely based on the life of American divorcee Wallis Simpson, whose affair with Kind Edward VIII led to his abdication.

Madonna said she had been fascinated by the story for some time, pondering why a man would make such a huge sacrifice for love.

Andrea Riseborough stars as Simpson and Abbie Cornish as a modern-day woman who becomes obsessed with the person who prompted a constitutional crisis in 1936.

Britain's Guardian newspaper did not spare Madonna's feelings with a one-out-of-five star review.

"Could it be that Madonna is in deadly earnest here?" wrote Xan Brooks.

"If so, her film is more risible than we had any right to expect; a primped and simpering folly, the turkey that dreamed it was a peacock."

Others were less damning, although the general tone was negative and one website quipped that it may be time for the 53-year-old singer to abdicate as a film maker.   Continued...

<p>Pop star and director Madonna arrives on the "W.E" red carpet at the 68th Venice Film Festival in Venice September 1, 2011. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi</p>