Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Chocolate for the Ears
Review by Helen San
W.E. is a romantic drama about the complicated love story of King Edward VIII and the American woman he abdicated his throne for, Wallis Simpson. The second directorial effort by Madonna, W.E. was her baby. She researched it for years, co-wrote it, cast it, and pored over costuming decisions. Attracted to the melancholy of A SINGLE MAN, she handpicked composer ABEL KORZENIOWSKI (Ah-bell Kohr-shen-yow-ski) for this project.
Told in flashbacks, the film moves back and forth between contemporary and period settings. KORZENIOWSKI wrote a classic, timeless piece that could fit easily in whichever time period it found itself. Madonna was very specific about wanting this score to be more emotional than cerebral; it should be simple enough to connect with audiences easily. She gave explicit instructions to KORZENIOWSKI, a classically trained composer, to not “overthink” it. I think this may have been one of her best decisions on this film. Madonna may not be the greatest actress or film maker. But the woman knows her music and how to sell it.
I’ll cut to the chase. The score moved the heavens out of me. It doesn’t have the sheer, mind-blowing brilliance I heard in BATTLE FOR TERRA or the pure, astounding beauty of A SINGLE MAN. But W.E. reaches right in, grabs my gut, and transports me to every single love story I’ve ever seen, heard, or felt. It is the universal embodiment of the raw, emotional power of romantic love. I daresay it is the most romantic score I’ve ever heard. Yes, ever. Eat your heart out, FRANCIS LAI. You’ve been dethroned, MAURICE JARRE.
READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE (AUDIO VERSION AVAILABLE)