Madonna's follow-up to Evita was yet another critically panned role as Abbie, a woman who decides to have a baby with her gay best friend, in the film The Next Best Thing (2000) directed by John Schlesinger. Some critics however were kinder: French magazine Telerama pointed out that the script was much too weak, and neither she or the other two male leads, Rupert Everett and Benjamin Bratt could save the film or a director who's been running out of inspiration for some time already. Swept Away followed in 2002, which was also critically panned. The film, a remake of an Italian film bearing the same name by Lina Wertm?ller in 1975, was the first big screen collaboration between Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie. The film was mercilessly dished by everyone (It received seven Razzie Award nominations, winning five including Worst Actress for Madonna).
In 2002, Madonna composed and performed the theme song to the James Bond film "Die Another Day". She also had a cameo appearance in the film, playing a fencing instructor.
In late 2004, she provided the voice of Princess Selenia in the animated film Arthur and the Invisibles, set for release in January 2007.
In March 2006, Madonna stated in an interview that she had given up acting because she fears her acting reputation will condemn any film she is a part of. She has also expressed her frustration with the process of filmmaking, with the comment "I've been unlucky with some of my films because it's difficult for me to be a brushstroke in someone else's painting." 
In 1991, Madonna released her first documentary Truth or Dare (In Bed With Madonna outside the U.S.). The film, directed by Alek Keshishian, followed Madonna on her Blond Ambition world tour in support of her successful 1989 album Like a Prayer. The film featured black and white backstage scenes and live performances filmed in color. Truth or Dare was released in theatres worldwide, and became a box office hit, grossing more than $15 million in the U.S. alone.
Her second documentary, I'm Going To Tell You A Secret (2005), followed Madonna and her family on the Re-Invention World Tour in 2004. Directed by long-time collaborator Jonas ?kerlund, it premiered commercial free on MTV in the U.S. on October 21, 2005. Like her previous effort, the film includes behind the scenes footage as well as live performances, and was released on DVD June 20, 2006 with a bonus audio CD.
In 2001, Madonna starred in BMW's short film The Hire: Star from the series The Hire as part of a BMW marketing campaign. The short film, directed by husband Guy Ritchie, featured Madonna as an arrogant rock star. Madonna starred opposite Clive Owen, Michael Beattie, and Toru Tanaka Jr.
Italian heritage, family and Catholicism
Madonna's background as an Italian American Catholic has had great significance in her life and career. She has cited her parents and upbringing as the major influences in her life and career. Her mother's death profoundly affected her, and she later stated that had her mother lived she might not have felt such a strong need to prove herself. Madonna's father, Silvio Ciccone, more commonly referred to simply as "Tony", is a strict Italian Catholic who raised his family in an atmosphere of religious observance.
The name "Madonna" is very Catholic as it references The Virgin Mary, who in Italy and in the Roman Catholic Church is often referred to as "Madonna". Given Madonna's rebellion against Catholic-based ideals of womanhood, some have found it ironic that she shares the same name as the ultimate symbol of the Catholic ideal of womanhood. Early in her career, many assumed that "Madonna" was a stage name that the singer had chosen for shock value.
As a teenager, Madonna rebelled against what she considered an oppressive upbringing but later admitted that Catholicism had remained a central influence. She has said that her first "idols" were nuns, and that she found them "sexy" and wanted to be a nun because they were "really pure and serene". 
Madonna also credits her father with instilling in her a strong work ethic, which she attributes to his Italian background, his family's working class history in Naples, and his struggle to raise himself from poor origins. She has spoken admiringly of hisefforts, noting that he is the only member of his family with a college education, and that his degree in engineering allowed him to move beyond the limitations of his upbringing.  Madonna has also said that since becoming a mother, she has gained greater understanding and respect for her father as a parent.
As a teenager, lacking in self-esteem and rebelling against her Italian and Catholic background, Madonna was told by her ballet teacher and mentor, Christopher Flynn, "You have an ancient looking face. A face like an ancient Roman statue." Madonna has stated that Flynn was the first person to tell her she is beautiful, and his approval inspired her to consider her Italian heritage, and her face, as something of value.
In her music career, Madonna's Catholic background and relationship with her parents has been most strongly reflected in her Like a Prayer album. In "Like a Prayer," Madonna moved away from the dance pop of her previous albums and toward more personal and reflective lyrics, featured songs directly related to her parents and her Catholic upbringing. The video for the title track contained overt Catholic symbolism, such as the stigmata. "Promise To Try" told of her sadness at the faded memory of her mother and her struggle to recall her. "Oh, Father" told of a strict and distant father, who elicited fear in the singer as a child and defiance as she grew older. The video for Oh Father depicts Madonna in a confessional and her father kneeling and praying before a picture of his dead wife. The album ends with the track "Act of Contrition", which contains verses from the Catholic prayer of the same name.
Madonna has used the Catholic symbol of the crucifix throughout her career, as a fashion accessory in her early videos, in the church setting of her "Like a Prayer" video, and in the stage design of her "Confessions" tour. The rosary has also often been used in Madonna's career. In the early 1980s, she wore it around her neck as part of her performance costume. Later, in the music video for the song La Isla Bonita Madonna portrays a character who is praying the rosary.
Madonna's Italian heritage has occasionally been referenced in her work. The video to her first number one single, "Like a Virgin," was filmed in Venice, Italy, and features Madonna in iconic Venetian settings. The "Open Your Heart" video ends with Madonna dancing into the sunset with a young boy, while her elderly boss chases after her, yelling at her in Italian. In the "Papa Don't Preach" video, often described as partly autobiographical in content, her father is played by the Italian American actor, Danny Aiello, and Madonna wears a shirt with the slogan, "Italians Do It Better".  The video for her Who's That Girl? Tour, titled Ciao Italia: Madonna Live from Italy, was filmed mainly in Turin, Italy. (In the Ciao Italia: Madonna Live from Italy video, Madonna performs the song Papa Don't Preach while a large portrait of the Pope appears on the screen behind