Madonna’s biopic (I use the term loosely) of Wallis Simpson has been pretty comprehensively trashed. It was unlikely to be popular, all Madonna’s projects outside of pop have been panned and with Wallis Simpson as her subject for this foray why should this one be different. Hoping to emulate the anachronistic style last seen in Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, Madonna has instead created a Wallis Simpson meets Carrie Bradshaw vehicle. I have mentioned before I hate anachronisms and value accurate period details so you can probably guess what I think about Wallis Simpson leaping up and dancing to The Sex Pistol’s Pretty Vacant.
It’s an interesting enough time in history without occasionally jumping forward to the 1990s to a woman called Wally who, like, totally identifies with Wallis. People can’t bear those historical figures we care to remember not having modern sympathies and tastes, 2010’s The Duchess pandered more to the emancipated woman than authenticity but at least Georgiana didn’t return from the grave to haunt a woman who, like, totally identified with her just in case anyone in the audience got bored.
The Kings Speech and the recent discovery of letters betraying Wallis’ continued love for her husband Ernest Simpson after her third marriage haven’t ignited any kind of thirst for knowledge about her. And while I think it’s great we put more women in history to the forefront of our media world I also think we have better candidates of those women who seem to have been ignored.
There are so many women who are part of the Great Ignored I would love to see a film about, here’s my list.
Bessie Smith. This woman asks for pigfoot, a reefer and a bottle of beer in song. Singing about gin was also in her repertoire. Smith died in two horrific car accidents. To find out how that is even possible a biopic will have to be made.
Kiki De Montparnasse. Muse to many, slave to none Kiki is quoted as saying “All I need is an onion, a bit of bread, and a bottle of red." Let Man Ray draw in her eyebrows as purple and was nude most of the time. A serious film with nudity in it? It screams Oscar!
Djuna Barnes. This beauty had an acerbic wit, often displayed when ungratefully receiving a regular stipend from Peggy Guggenheim. Barnes wrote the hilarious Ladies Almanack featuring disguised pen portraits of all the lesbians on the Paris scene in the 1920s.
Dolly Wilde. As you might expect Oscar Wilde’s niece was a mythomane to extremes. A Lover of Natalie Barney, addicted to heroin and alcohol by the end. Doll Furious died alone in mysterious circumstances.
If you think I have missed someone out (this being a list of 4 I will have) who is deserving of some Squeamish Bikini attention then let me know here.