Madonna bombs, Clooney rules and Fassbender and Mulligan go full frontal at Venice and Telluride

Madonna‘s first feature length film, W.E., made its world debut at the Venice Film Festival over the weekend, where it was met with some of the most scathing reviews of the year.

The flick stars Andrea Riseborough as King Edward’s wife Wallis Simpson – for whom he abdicated the throne – as well as Abbie Cornish in a parallel storyline about a modern day woman obsessed with the controversial figure.

Although expectations for the film were low, reviewers were still shocked by its inadvertent hilariousness. Head on over to Deadline for a collection of responses.

The Weinstein Company has an uphill battle ahead of them, as they’ve already committed to distributing the $35 million pic in December.

Venice has also seen the worldwide debuts of potential Best Picture contenders Carnage (Roman Polanski’s take on the play God of Carnage), A Dangerous Method (David Cronenberg’s psychosexual Freud v. Jung drama, Contagion (Steven Soderbergh’s outbreak horror flick) and The Ides of March (George Clooney’s political thriller).

Each film has been well received – with the occasional rave – but none have been able to match the acclaim being heaped upon Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, which screened at the Telluride festival in Colorado.

According to IndieWire, “it’s been difficult to find a discouraging word” about The Descendants, which stars Clooney as a grieving father who reconnects with his children. It seems Payne’s first film since Sideways will similarly have a big presence at the upcoming Academy Awards.

Meanwhile, Steve McQueen’s new film Shamewhich stars Michael Fassbender as a sex-obsessed man living in New York and Carey Mulligan as his night club singer sister – is becoming one of the most controversial films of the festival circuit.

Fassbender and Mulligan reportedly reveal all in the flick, which will likely get an NC-17 rating in the U.S. (the equivalent of an R rating in Australia). McQueen refuses to cut a frame.

We’ll keep you updated as to when these films arrive in Oz.

Discuss: Which of these sound most promising?

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