'30s Glamour

During my break, I did spend a great amount of my time watching period dramas. I am now forever in love with Mr. Thorton, wished Edmund would have just planted a kiss on Fanny, and truly admired the 2007 adaptation of Northanger Abbey, despite its criticisms. This has subsequently brought a frightening thoughts: films are much more concerned with lust and producing a very flimsy, vapid storyline with predictable outcomes and typical situations in which many can infer that everyone does it. Thus, I have come to grow a tad critical towards modern filmography, simply because I find that more and more, the plot surrounded with immediate sexual tension and immediate satisfaction of those desires. I happen to believe in romance (but not the cute knight-in-shining armour, my Prince Charming aspiration of romance). I believe that there is such an allure in mystery, in what a woman does not entirely convey in her words, the anticipation of a simply sweet yet irrevocably passionate first kiss, in listening attentively to that other's persons dreams, wishes, and aspirations, and making a big deal out of simple, mundane things. I believe that is what romance is: taking pleasure in the small details. That can also account my recent fascination with reading classic literature (while succumbing to more contemporary novels, such as World War II consumed Europe romance and drama).

But there are some films that manage to capture my attention. Madonna's W.E. is no exception. I had heard about it last year during the Oscar season, when all the hubbub regarding costumes, cinematography, and the little details matter in the film world. So naturally, I was intrigued. It was not so much at the fact that a biopic of Wallis Simpson's much publicized affair with the Duke of Windsor, but it was rather how the other female protagonist was important in the film. The film itself proposed some interesting aspects to Wallis Simpson's life (such as the tragic opening scene, where she is physically beaten by her first husband while lying in a pool of her own blood, muttering and whimpering over something about a baby) to how appearances can be so deviously deceptive (shown in Wallis Winthrop's marriage--the other female protagonist). Two story lines seemingly paralleling each other, this film should not simply be rebuffed on account of two-dimensional characters or lacking emotion in emotional scenes. Personally, I find that film critiques find the smaller fragment of rubbish in a film, extrapolate it, and maximize it, akin to looking under a microscope. I find this movie to be rather good. But, as always, I paid attention to the aesthetics. 

Wallis Simpson was a woman who clearly knew exactly what was her style and what worked for her, and stuck with it. She maintained the '20s-esque finger waves hairstyle, classic makeup (winged eyeliner and fiery red lipstick), and clean, polished silhouettes. She wore simple yet ravishing jewellery,  and she was always so chic. Back are the days when women dress up (and cover up!) and it is refreshingly sexy. Even Abbie Cornish's character managed to present herself seductively albeit it was without the use of removing her clothes first. The costume team truly have done a magnificent job. It inspires me to wear red lipstick more; it makes me want to look for that beautiful gown that drapes on my body yet still managing to hug my curves in an unadulterated fashion; and it prompts me to see that dressing in a manner similar to the Duchess of Windsor presented as an allure many men could not hide. While finding screen shots is difficult (unless one consults Pinterest or tumblr), Wallis Simpson's entire wardrobe is riveting. I strongly suggest watching this film if old Hollywood glamour is your vice.

No comments:

Post a Comment