Pop superstar Madonna's latest film effort W.E. has bombed with critics, who have branded the movie "extraordinarily silly" and "insubstantial".
The Like A Virgin hitmaker stepped behind the camera for the royal drama, which documents the scandalous relationship between Britain's King Edward Viii and American divorcee Wallis Simpson. The monarch abdicated from his royal position in 1936 after their love affair became public.
W.E. had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in Italy on Thursday (01Sep11), and the first reviews of the film are less than complementary.
A writer for Britain's The Independent declares, "The film is no masterpiece", while a review in U.K. newspaper The Times states, "Whole scenes could easily be pop videos or perfume adverts. W.E. is about shiny surfaces."
The movie receives a single star rating from Britain's The Guardian, with critic Xan Brooks declaring, "What an extraordinarily silly, preening, fatally mishandled film this is... Her direction is so all over the shop that it barely qualifies as direction at all. W.E. gives us slo-mo and jump cuts and a crawling crane shot up a tree in Balmoral, but they are all just tricks without a purpose."
Grazia's Emma Pritchard Jones adds, "Ultimately, it's as insubstantial as the midnight blue chiffon dress Wallis wears to dine with the King."
However, not all the write-ups are as scathing - Britain's Daily Telegraph reviewer calls the royal biopic "better than expected" and "not without amusing moments".