Madonna. One name only, no others necessary. It’s a startling image to see the credit “Directed by Madonna” writ large on a cinema screen for a film as polite as W.E. For a woman whose very image was meticulously crafted to appear as the cutting edge– even when she’s behind the times, she has a marvellous way of beating everybody else at their own game–this sophomore directorial effort (her first to arrive in Australian cinemas) is a very tame picture. Having gone to painstaking lengths to ensure this film assigns her oh-so-serious directorial cred that she has sadly forsaken the very energy that makes her a megastar to this very day. In its place is a mawkish and frequently uninspired take on the lives of the rich and famous, repurposing moviemaking tricks from other sources and shuffling them about like a deck of cards. The finished product is more 52 Pick Up than anything resembling a royal flush.