FILTH AND WISDOM (Madonna). 81 minutes. Opens Friday (October 31). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: N
If Alex Rodriguez is Exhibit A in Guy Ritchie's pending divorce from Madonna, then Exhibit B must surely be Filth And Wisdom, Madge's immaterial and unambitious directorial debut.
Sure, the estranged couple share the blame for Swept Away, but at least that had sunny, sandy locales. Filth And Wisdom, a grimy yet unintentionally campy drama about three mismatched roommates who don't really do much of anything, looks like it was shot through a pair of Mrs. Ritchie's knickers. Madonna is worth close to $6 billion, yet this looks like it cost less than one of her cone bras.
The biggest gobsmack, though, is that for such a sexual provocateur, Madonna has made a surprisingly chaste film. One character is a stripper and another is a BDSM master, but there's nary a hint of titillation (or just plain tit) to be found.
So there's no filth, and the only wisdom is of the fortune-cookie variety, delivered directly to the camera by a Gypsy musician (Gogol Bordello frontman Eugene Hutz) whose Stalin moustache and Borat accent prevent you from taking anything he says or does seriously.
Which is not far from how I feel about Madonna as a director.