With yet another article claiming people at Venice were "rolling in the aisles" at Madonna'a W.E. (which isn't a comedy...), I thought I'd post this first-hand account from Stefano, a fan who was there. Sounds like my reaction: Not a great film but nowhere near worthy of all the bile...
"I live near Milan, Italy, and on Thursday I went to Venice to see the world premiere of Madonna's W.E.: I just could not wait for the movie to come out in January, I was dying to see it.
"I said goodbye to my workmates, jumped on a train at 2:30 p.m with a hot can of Coke, a slice of pizza to go and the ticket for the movie my mum had bought for me a few weeks ago while I was on holiday away form the Internet and civilization...
"It was a double screening; first Polanski's Carnage and then Madonna's film.
"I quite enjoyed Carnage, even though those 80 minutes just seemed to last ages : )
"Then, after some technical glitches (they showed the first 20 minutes of the film for three times because the Italian subtitles disappeared, the audience went berserk, and they had to start the screening from the top), W.E. started. I had many expectations although I had tried not to. I had read so much about it and I didn't want my love and admiration for Madonna to get in the way.
"Then I hold my breath for two hours...
"Did I like it in the end? Well, I did actually!
"As the movie went on, I could not help noticing the attention to details, how good the music sounded, how convincing was Andrea Riseborough as Wallis.
"Of course it is not THE perfect movie, but who cares? Yeah, the 'back & forth' structure may be too The Hours-ish and there's actually not a real climax to the story, but I found it unapologetically good : ) I am sure that if W.E. had been directed by some 'Mr. Nobody' things would have turned out different.
"Anyway, the audience remained silent throughout the entire film and in the end, guess what? They clapped their hands.
"I spent the night wandering through Venice, waiting for my 6:20 a.m. train to get me to Milan, back to work and to my life. But before I got on the train, I bought a bunch of newspapers 'cause I wanted to read the reviews: they were not bad, I mean, they were mixed reviews—ok!—but the movie had not been trashed!
"I do not know how critics will react in America, but I would like the people to see it for themselves: It's not a 'Madonna movie,' it's a good one!"