For most of her life, New Yorker Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish) has been obsessed with the relationship between Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough) and King Edward VIII, who had to abdicate his throne for the love of the American divorcee. As she oversees a Sotheby auction of some of their belongings, Wally's tumultuous marriage gets increasingly more abusive, so she decides to lose herself in their romantic story.
Madonna's second movie as a director is far more ambitious than the earlier "Filth and Wisdom," but it's also a stronger film that sadly suffers from the weight of its own ambitions.
If you saw Tom Hooper's "The King's Speech" you're likely to remember Wallis Simpson as the woman who essentially sabotaged the reign of Colin Firth's older brother. When the story is told from Wallis' perspective, as filtered through the writing of Madonna and Alek Keshishian, it's a grand love story about a man who would give up being King of England to be with the woman he loves. Almost sixty years later, a New York woman's lifelong obsession with Wallis and her relationship with Edward has reached a point where she's losing herself in fantasies about them in order to escape her abusive marriage.