#REVIEW – “ADORE”
Who doesn’t enjoy a good, tangled mess once in a while? Adore from French-based Director Anne Fontaine (Coco Before Chanel) gives us just this in her Adaptation of the Novel The Grandmothers, by Doris Lessing. The Australian-set Drama‘s subject matter on paper might appear slighty off-putting, but the matter could not have been treated with any more grace and dignity than it is here. Highlighted by an outstanding Ensemble, Adore just might be one of 2013’s juiciest secrets.
Lil (Naomi Watts) and Roz (Robin Wright) have been Best Friends since High School. In fact they are inseparable and mistook as a Lesbian Couple. After having been widowed, Lil raises her Son Tom (James Frencheville) on her own and he too is inseparable from Roz‘s Son, Ian (Xavier Samuel). Growing increasingly distant from her Husband Harold (Ben Mendelsohn) who wishes to relocate to Sydney for work, Roz finds comfort in Ian. Upon discovery of his Best Friend’s involvement with his Mother, Tom likewise seeks comfort in Lil. One thing leads to another before Adore has us examining the lasting and damaging ramifications of the morally-questionable choices made by these complex and incestuous Characters, whom all otherwise are good, normal (I swear!) people. The Film pushes boundaries asking the provocative question what it means to love someone when it is almost universally accepted as “wrong”. It daringly treads dangerous territory and smart Cinematography by Christophe Beaucarne keeps things elegant and tasteful.
The release of Adore comes at a pivotal point for both Watts and Wright who deliver thoughtful and reflective performances, at a sweet spot respectively in their accomplished careers. Their sisterly bond here is void of any ego and both disappear completely into their roles, humanizing their Characters with a certain forgivability despite their actions. Samuel breathes a maturity/boyishness which makes him understandably irresistable, while Frencheville also captivates in the same vein. Although unforgettable Films like 2006’s Notes on a Scandal (starring another fantastic Australian Thespian in Cate Blanchett) and 2008‘s The Reader have explored some of the themes we see in here, it stands on its own as a cathartic journey into the lives of four fascinating people.
Remstar Films releases Adore on Friday, September 6, 2013 in Toronto and Vancouver.