It's safe to say film critics weren't as supportive of Madonna's latest directorial effort as her ex-husbands…to say the least.
The pop music icon, who debuted her film W.E. at the Venice Film Festival Thursday, thanking past loves Sean Penn and Guy Ritchiefor their support—just as a flood of less-than-stellar reviews poured in. Ouch!
"I was and am attracted to very creative people," Madonna said. "That's why I married Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie, two very talented directors, and they both encouraged me as a director and as a creative person to do what I did. They were both very supportive."
The film, set in the 1930s, tells the story of the scandalous relationship between Britain's King Edward VIII and American divorcee Wallis Simpson, which forced Edward to abdicate his throne in 1936 after their affair became public.
And let's just say Madonna could use the support of her ex-hubbies, considering the awful reviews that followed the premiere of her romantic flick:
• "The film is no masterpiece." —The Independent
• "Whole scenes could easily be pop videos or perfume adverts. W.E. is about shiny surfaces." —Britain's The Times
• "What an extraordinarily silly, preening, fatally mishandled film this is...Her direction is so all over the shop that it barely qualifies as direction at all. W.E. gives us slo-mo and jump cuts and a crawling crane shot up a tree in Balmoral, but they are all just tricks without a purpose." —The Guardian, which gave the film one out of five stars.
• "Ultimately, it's as insubstantial as the midnight blue chiffon dress Wallis wears to dine with the King." —Grazia
• "The script is the first problem. Co-written with Alek Keshishian, it's laden with clichés and clunky exposition from the off, with some moments drawing laughs from the Venice audience." —The Playlist
• "Burdened with risible dialogue and weak performances, pic doesn't have much going for it apart from lavish production design and terrific, well-researched costumes—and it's in focus, which is more than can be said for the script." —Variety
Perhaps the "Give It 2 Me" mega star should just stick to performing.