2011 December 5

Yes, W.E. Can

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(New York) Madonna, nervous? Say it ain't so. The Cinema Society with Piaget screened her labor of love and feature directorial debut W.E. at MoMA last night for a heavyweight crowd including Valentino Garavani & Giancarlo Giammetti, Barry Diller, Parker Posey, Anderson Cooper, Patti Smith, Julian Schnabel, Andy Cohen, Francisco Costa, Glenda Bailey, Chloe Sevingy, Donna Karan, Hamish Bowles, Tony Danza, Jake Shears, Adrien Brody, David Blaine, Olivier Theyskens, Andre Leon Talley, Rachel Roy, Anson Mount, Steven Klein, Johan Lindberg, Malcolm Carfrae, Daniel Benedict, and Stefano Tonchi. Do those nerves sound a little more reasonable now? "Thanks again for supporting me tonight and adding another layer of tension," she deadpanned to the crowd before the screening. "I have a really big knot in my stomach and nobody's offered me a glass of champagne like they've done at the screenings in Venice, Toronto and London. I'm sober, and I hope I like my film!" The screening was a momentous occasion for the auteur. "Each time I've watched the film with an audience, I've had a new experience. I've been able to make squeaks and changes after watching it with people, but tonight is very different because it's now finished. I can't make any changes. Tonight's about letting it go. I knew I wanted to move to New York and become an artist and start a revolution. Here I am so many years later (about to watch my film), and it's extremely humbling." 

The stunning film with costumes by Arianne Phillips (worth the ticket price alone) is a two-tiered romantic drama focusing on the affair between King Edward VIII (James D'Arcy) and American divorcée Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough) and a contemporay romance between Wally (Abbie Cornish), a married woman and a Russian security guard (Oscar Isaac). Wally becomes obsessed with the love story of Wallis and Edward and learns about her own life as she learns about the sacrafices Wallis made to be with him.


What do Lourdes, Rocco and David think of Mom's gig as a director? "They think it's pretty cool," she explained on the red carpet in head-to-toe Roberto Cavalli, Piaget diamonds and a W.E. necklace given to her by her kids for her birthday. "My son wants me to make a comedy next. Something that will make them laugh, guys doing naughty things, and maybe a few guns." 


After the screening, guests ignored their Sunday curfews and headed to upper east side hot spot Crown for champange, special W.E. cupcakes, and naturally another glimpse of Madge, who sat with her pal Steven Klein. Producer Harvey Weinstein, who worked with her on 1991's Truth Or Dare (directed by screenwriter Alex Keshinshian), summed up her accomplishment best: "I'm so proud of this film. If this would have been Joe Smith's name on the movie instead of Madonna, this would be heralded as a great new voice." Madonna retorted: "Thanks, Harvey, but I would never want to be Joe Smith." W.E. knew that... EDDIE ROCHE

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