Madonna, in her sophomore effort at directing a feature film, has managed to capture the mood and production values of an ’80s-era “Masterpiece Theater” presentation in “W.E.”

Yes, we’re predisposed to goof on Madge’s directorial efforts because, well, “Filth and Wisdom.” But we promise we watched with an open mind. Is it our fault that the camera is, as noted by Vulture, a bit herky-jerky. Or that “The King’s Speech” — which kind of covered the same ground — is still so fresh in our memories and so Oscar-winning and, umm, well-made?

“W.E.” chronicles the heroic life of Wallis Simpson, the American divorcee for whom King Edward VIII abdicated the throne of England in 1936.  Abbie Cornish (you may remember her from allegedly busting up Ryan Phillippe’s happy home) stars as a present-day character researching what happened to Simpson and Edward after the abdication.

What unfolds is apparently a recounting of one of the most momentous relationships since Guenevere stepped out on King Arthur with Lancelot. (Yes, we know that wasn’t real.)

“You have no idea how hard it is to live out the greatest romance of the century,” says Simpson at a pivotal point in the trailer. And, really, we don’t.

What’s really missing, we think, is a line that would — like “Citizen Kane’s” “Rosebud” — encapsulate the spirit of the film and leave us at once puzzled, yet strangely satisfied.

A line like, oh, I dunno: “I absolutely loathe hydrangeas. He obviously doesn’t know that,” would do the trick.

Posted by:Liz Kelly Nelson