Action / Drama / Romance


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August 19, 2013 at 06:22 PM



Naomi Watts as Lil
Ben Mendelsohn as Harold
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812.45 MB
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 10 / 64
1.64 GB
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 6 / 19

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Emma_Rampling 10 / 10

More to offer than a controversial premise

A fascinating, intellectual and profound exploration of the psyches of four uniquely damaged characters: two boys who never quite left the womb, growing up in a small and affluent community far removed from reality, with one father figure MIA, the other passive and disconnected, and only their mothers for comfort and company; and two women, who never conquered their fears of aging or their struggles with self-esteem and sexual confidence, and whose intimate love for each other and need to feel young and desired manifest themselves in dangerous liaisons with each other's sons.

The premise is disturbing and unrealistic but a major strength of the film is that the characters' actions feel believable and understandable: but never condoned or really condemned. We are given such insight into their island-like community, their lifestyles, their dynamics and their psyches that it's perfectly clear why they fall into these simultaneously symbiotic and parasitic relationships. There is a nuance and an apathy to the directing that encourage the audience to focus more on the "how" and "why" rather than the "what." The film is never sexy or erotic because there is so much loneliness, pain and desperation in the sex scenes. The ocean metaphors strengthen the storytelling but never overwhelm it, and there is one particularly profound scene when Watts and Wright's granddaughters are lifted out of the very water that pulled them under and destroyed them.

The film lags around the mid-point, once the quartet has fallen into a rhythm and so there is no more conflict or tension, but picks up again once their group dynamic and Watts' character's happiness are threatened. The ending is disconcerted and unexpected, but on reflection, given the film's themes and the characters' self- destructiveness, it couldn't have convincingly ended any other way.

Wright and Watts do career-best work here (people who think Watts is often overwrought will like her here, I think) - both give understated but incredibly complex performances and create living, breathing, three- dimensional people out of these initially unbelievable women. Their guilt, neediness and agony are ever-present in their eyes even as the characters try to remain composed and rational. The boys aren't given as much to do but Xavier Samuel perfectly captures the confidence and faux-invulnerability of adolescence. It's also the first time Watts has laughed on screen in what must be years now, which is nice to see!

Overall, in spite of some silly dialogue, it's riveting, labyrinthine, and unique - it's been a very long time since an English-language film explored female sexuality and psychology as intimately and impartially as this one does. It feels more at home with 90's French dramas like La belle noiseuse and La cérémonie than it does in 2013. I'm not entirely surprised it's received such a hateful and crude reaction online, but it has a lot more to offer than a controversial setting, and I hope audiences will be able to look past the premise and see it not as an "issue film" but as the perceptive and devastating character study that it really is.

Reviewed by Inga Kupp-Silberg 10 / 10

Loved it.

Let me start with saying that when the movie was finished and the lights were on again, I did not want it to end. I wanted to see what would happen even afterwards, I wanted it to continue. I was stunned to my seat with lot of thoughts and emotions.

Plot: Two lifelong friends and mothers - Lil, who is a widower and Roz, who is married - whose bonds go back to their childhood, adore each other and their sons. Their sons are also best friends and during one summer evening after wine and fun Roz and Ian (Lil's son) are getting attracted to each other. Passion takes them into unknown and questionable territory - they have sex. Tom (Roz's son) sees his mother leaving Ian's room and Tom takes the news to Lil. It doesn't take long for Lil and Tom to fall into the same pattern.

There are hesitations, but these do not last long and the secret relationships continue until the plot takes you to 2 years later when Tom goes to Sydney. His visit to Sydney changes everything for four of them - the nasty truth has its way to come out and alter everybody's happy lives.

I loved the story. It was dramatic, heartbreaking, beautiful and sad. I loved the relationships and how these were handled in the movie. It's a story where you have high doubts about happy endings. But the plot and the director kept surprising you and it asked a lot of important questions. What kind of love is acceptable? Does age matter? Can people handle the consequences of their own actions and do these make them happy? Is it allowed to fall passionately in love when you are middle-aged? Why are people willing to give up on love even though they do not want to do that, but know it's the only reasonable thing to do? Is it love when you do what you think is best and hurt the one you love with that? All these and many other questions were raised and it is up to the viewer to decide and find the answers to them. What I loved about Adore was exactly, that the answers were not given to you, it woke a lot of thoughts.

Adore was filled with interesting relationships. My favorite was the relationship between Roz and Ian and it broke my heart to see what people do to the ones they love. Roz wanted to give Ian free because of her loyalty to Lil and because she wanted that Ian could enjoy his young life. The sad thing was, that Ian did not want that freedom, he ached for Roz for years, he loved her. Roz did what she felt was right and suffered because of that.

When you look at the relationship between Lil and Tom, it was simpler, but not easier for that matter. There were more secrets and these secrets hurt the not only themselves, but also Ian and Roz.

Adore is a movie about love and betrayal and relationships.

Directing, sets: I have seen few other movies directed by Anne Fontaine and Adore proved once again, than she is one of the best female contemporary directors. I personally think she did an excellent work with the movie.

The settings in the New South Wales in Australia were beautiful. There were lot of scenes on and nearby the sea and beach. It was absolutely breathtaking! Casting and the ensemble: Both Naomi Watts and Robin Wright belong to my long-time favorites and the delivered exactly and more what I expected from them. Bigger surprises were the young men playing Ian and Tom - Xavier Samuel and James Frecheville. I truly liked how they played their characters, they had quite a big tasks with these roles and they were believable and natural as Ian and Tom. Very suitable cast in my opinion.

Generally: Adore is a controversial movie. I think there are people who would love the imbroglio of relationships and friendships and then there are the ones who would judge them. I belong to the first group. I really enjoyed the drama!

Reviewed by flydocfly 10 / 10

A Superb Chick Flick for Grannies!

This lovely movie was based on Doris Lessing's short story "The Grandmothers". I just saw the premiere at Sundance and absolutely loved it. Supposedly inspired by a true story, it's about two mothers who really like their son's best friend (their best friend's son) And that tag line is what you'll hear all about. Oh, the horror. I imagine middle age male reviewers will not particularly like this movie, though gay men will most likely love it. But it's a film about women--their friendships, husbands, relationships, sons and lovers. It's directed by Anne Fontaine, a French woman (which explains the exorbitant number of scenes with smoking cigarettes, and an insanely un-American story concept that young men might be attracted to older women.)

It's beautifully crafted (gorgeous cinematography) and has intelligent editing (watch for the skillful matched cuts that "age" the characters). The performances are all around great. Robin Wright is amazing--it's an Oscar caliber performance, however, the film probably won't get a large enough release to be on the radar for awards (sort of like poor John Hawkes not getting nominated for "The Sessions", what was the Academy thinking?) Of course, setting the movie in Australia means the other main character is the location. Tanned surfing teenage boys with model-beautiful mothers in bikinis, cowabunga mate (and significantly less handsome husbands and admirers, thankfully not shown in Speedos.)

There was laughter in the screening in places unexpected by the director, but this was probably just anxious laughter by viewers unaccustomed to thinking about middle aged women having sexual and emotional interest in younger men. Actually, I felt the laughter lightened up the viewing experience, and made the characters more human (okay, so I laughed and cried in this movie, but I never laughed at it.) At almost every story point where an expected turn would happen (if following Hollywood development script notes) the writer took what I call the "elegant decision" and pleasantly surprised me.

This is all around superb filmic story telling. Brilliant performances, intelligent and gentle direction, spectacular scenery, highly professional technical craftsmanship, and (for most of us, I expect) new emotional territory. It's a great film. I truly hope you get to see it.

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