As a devotee of the lives and times of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, this is, by far, my favorite rendition of these people and their times.
It is beautifully photographed, and competently acted. Specifically, it is not overly dramatic, because the drama was in the situation, not in anyone's dramatized reaction.
"The Woman He Loved" begins as Wallis and Ernest Simpson take up lush lodgings in London. As they negotiate their way into London society, by ingratiating themselves into the upper echelons, it is inevitable that they meet the Prince of Wales, David Windsor, who is destined to be crowned King Edward VIII. Much to the shock of his immediate (and intimate) circle, Wallis becomes the only person outside of his family to address him as "David." The future king is at a loss at how to react, but cannot bring himself to correct her. She appears to be candid, and spontaneous; a typical American, yet her actions are studied and cunning. He is both intrigued and amused, and his lack of restraint provides encouragement so that she behaves even more brazenly. The relationship between Wallis and the future king is filled with anecdotes of personal affection, and times of great tribulation as their relationship deepens to become the infamous 'romance of the century.'
Anthony Andrews IS David Windsor, shy, slight, elite, precise, sympathetic, empathetic, yet equally out-of-touch. Somehow, he is emboldened to speak on social issues, while exhibiting disastrous judgment. Equally well matched, Jane Seymour perfectly captures the all consuming, calculating and ambitious personality of Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson. Cold, yet charming, demanding yet vulnerable, and always persnickety, Wallis Simpson was a force of nature. How else could a twice-divorced, not particularly beautiful, American commoner, bring the King of England to his knees?
Olivia de Havilland is perfect as Aunt Bessie. She assumes a vital role in the development of their relationship. In essence, she took the place of an entire royal court for Wallis' side; and she was up to the task.
In a world where, in spite of their advantages, David and Wallis felt they did not belong, they found each other. No one can estimate the change in the quality of life when people find "the rest of themselves" but this is what appears to have happened when they met and married. Wallis addressed him as David (in private) but she used his royal appellation of Edward as a design element, to form their initials into "WE." They truly painted themselves as the two of them (WE) against the world.
The personal story of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor is not just a love story; it is a story for the ages. For centuries, men have waged wars to become Kings of England; this man willingly walked away and gave up Throne and Sceptre, Crown and Country, because it was the only way he could marry the woman he loved.
2 out of 4 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.