Early audiences and critics have been less than enthusiastic about the second directorial effort by Madonna, W.E., a period piece about the doomed love story between King Edward VIII and his American divorcee lover, Wallis Simpson, in the 1930s.

W.E. follows two stories in two different times — the first about the royal's romance, and the second about a lonely wife in modern day New York (Abbie Cornish) who becomes obsessed with the historic couple, who she percieves to have shared the perfect love story.

Madonna wrote the film with longtime collaborator Alek Keshishian, who directed Truth or Dare in 1991 with the pop star. Drive's Oscar Isaac will play opposite Cornish as her modern-day husband, and The Closer's James D'Arcy and Never Let Me Go's Andrea Riseborough will portray King Edward and Wallis Simpson, respectively.

The movie is set for release on December 9.

Watch a trailer here: