(CBS) "W.E.," Madonna's cinematic take on the love story of American divorcee Wallis Simpson and Britain's King Edward VIII, who abdicated to marry her, has been roundly panned after its premiere Thursday night at the Venice Film Festival.
The script - co-written by Madonna and "Truth or Dare" director Alex Keshishian - and Madonna's direction took the brunt of the criticism. More than one critic drew comparisons between this film, due out Dec. 9, and last year's Oscar winner "The King's Speech," which covers the same events.
This is the pop star's second directorial effort; her first was "Filth and Wisdom" in 2008.
The Material Girl may have inadvertently insulted her two ex-husbands with comments on the red carpet before the premiere. She thanked Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie, both directors themselves, for encouraging her to take up a career in the movies and said she had learned a lot from them. At the premiere, she wore a Vionnet gown with train and vintage red-framed sunglasses.