Wallis Simpson was the been-around-the-block American siren who lured a King of England from his throne, forever changing history. Or was she? The layered and gripping Wallis & Edward
a lushly produced British film, dares to look at the infamous affair from the point of view of Mrs. Simpson, and rather sympathetically at that. Simpson, played with an enticing wry humor by the splendid Joely Richardson, is quite happy with her second husband, Ernest, when we meet them at the beginning of the story. Mutual friends introduce them to the Prince of Wales, a callow, rather feckless playboy (played by Stephen Campbell Moore), who becomes transfixed by Mrs. Simpson's refusal to fawn over him. And the chase is on. Richardson is a wonder in the role, bringing sympathy and anguish to the choices faced by her character. If some of the plot points seem a bit hard to swallow--that, say, Ernest, after having a man-to-man with the prince, is the one who encourages a divorce and essentially hands over his wife to Edward--the overall execution is delightful, and, no small feat for a story so well known, completely involving until the end. The behind-the-scenes scheming of the monarchy and those invested in its continuation is sometimes chilling, but always entertaining. At a gala ball, where the Simpsons have arrived as reluctant guests, Edward's mother, the Queen--so laden in jewels virtually none of her hair, neck, or shoulders is visible--sniffs at the vulgarity of the American who dares to wear "rubies and
emeralds." There'll always be an England--and there'll always be a fascination with the affair that brought down a King. --A.T. Hurley
"Affecting and richly enjoyable" Radio Times
He gave up the throne. What she gave up was perhaps even more painful.
Was American divorcée Wallis Simpson a scheming seductress bent on becoming Queen of England? Or did she get caught up in something she did not understand and could not stop? Based on extensive research, this new dramastarring Joely Richardson (Nip/Tuck, 101 Dalmatians) and Stephen Campbell Moore (A Good Woman, Bright Young Things)marks the first time the famous love story has been told from her point of view.
When their love affair begins, Edward, Prince of Wales, is a charismatic playboy, and Wallis is married to her second husband, businessman Ernest Simpson. Because Edward has had a string of mistresses, his affair with Wallis does nothing more serious than raise a few aristocratic eyebrows. But once he becomes King, the establishment demands that he give up Wallis. His refusal to do so puts her in the middle of the bitter struggle between the Kings heart and his duty to the royal family and the nation.
Also starring Miriam Margolyes (The Age of Innocence, Ladies in Lavender) and Margaret Tyzack (The Forsyte Saga, Match Point).
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE interview with writer Sarah Williams, production notes, production photo gallery, historical photo gallery, and cast filmographies.