I’m sure we’ve all had friends whose parents we found attractive. Would you ever act on that attraction though? It’s one thing to fantasize but it’s another to put the fantasies into realization. This is the essence of Adore. It’s an interesting title to say the least since adoration only seems to portray half of this story.
Adore is an adaption of a collection of four novels called: The Grandmothers. It is the story of two childhood friends who grow up and closely share their lives together. Lil played by Naomi Watts is best friends with Roz played by Robin Wright. Lil and Roz are close neighbors in a picturesque setting in Australia. Roz’s home is placed on a cliff surrounded by the bright aqua sea and Lil lives in an attractive modern looking home. It seems like the both of them live satisfying lives. Roz is married with a son named Tom (played by James Frecheville) and Lil is a widow left with a son named Ian (played by Xavier Samuel). Much alike their parents, Tom and Ian are very close. You never really know the young men’s age but they seem old enough to drink so that would at least put them over 18 years of age.
Ian is very awkward around Roz but you can tell he has an interest in her. One day Ian decides to kiss Roz. The kiss that Ian plants on Roz easily transgresses into a love affair. What would a love affair be without some drama? Tom learns of this affair and decides that he wants to get in on the action, so he decides to plant a kiss on Lil. The kiss was met with trepidation but it then blossomed into a sexual relationship as well. We find out that Ian’s relationship is more about love but it seems from the surface that Tom’s interest in Lil came out of lust and jealousy. This seemed trivial as Tom only seemed to be interested in Lil because he wanted to get back at Ian and his mother Roz. This affair of course created a strain on everyone’s relationship with each other. This is not a surprise, since this is not typical behavior for sons and mothers to be involved in. I’m not old fashioned by any means but this behavior is immoral and even Lil and Roz were aware of it. It’s hard to stop though when this was making Lil the happiest she’s been in a real long time.
Even throughout all of the drama, Lil and Roz’s bond is almost impossible to break. Clearly the stars of Adore are Naomi Watts and Robin Wright. They both delivered fine performances. They were very raw. They are in their mid 40’s and many times throughout the film, they are make up less, or at least they appear that way. I found this made their characters more realistic and made them seem more down to earth. With that said, Robin Wright’s Aussie accent was not very good and hardly consistent. This inconsistency makes Robin Wrights character slightly less believable.
The premise of the story is interesting. Two somewhat middle aged women, who are still very attractive, find themselves in sexual relationships with each other’s sons. How will they deal with the drama, and how will these affairs test their relationships as friends and parents? Likewise, how will these relationships affect the young men’s identities and friendships with each other? At the end of the day, I wasn’t that interested in what happened. The idea was interesting but if failed to deliver. The performances and plot were interesting but I did not love Adore.
Adore was shot in 35mm Cinemascope to capture the beautiful scenic images of the aqua ocean water, blue sky, and the white sand and clouds. For its Blu-ray presentation, Adore is presented in 1080p using a MPEG-4 AVC codec. Since the film was shot in Cinemascope, it comes as no surprise that the original aspect ratio of 2:39:1 was used and it really gives you a great view of what the scenery had to offer. I was surprised that the colors like the ocean were not as bright as I expected them to be. I felt that the picture could have popped more. Nonetheless, I found the video quality to be very accurate and real.
Adore is given a DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio score that is perfect for this film. This is a dialogue driven film so not one of the best films to show off your surround sound, but it does the job very well. When it came to the sound of waves crashing or the sound of music playing on the radio, the surround speakers came to life. I give an edge to the audio quality over the video quality as it stands out more in the sensory perception.
This Blu-ray disc is completely void of any special features whatsoever. This is a true disappointment as I would have really liked to hear what the director Anne Fontaine had to say about her interpretation of the book The Grandmothers. Equally as much, I would have really enjoyed to hear what Robin Wright and Naomi Watts had to say about their involvement in Adore. This is by far the biggest let down of this release.
Adore is not a movie completely about love and admiration. It’s about lust as well. The title is misleading but not completely as there is love to this story. One thing is for sure, I’m glad Anne Fontaine decided not to call the movie The Grandmothers. I could not picture Lil and Roz as grandmothers even though they eventually would be. A title like Grandmothers would not be appealing and would be tough to sell. As I stated previously, I liked the idea behind the film but the film did not go in the direction I would have liked it to. I felt that the film would have been more powerful had there been something more tragic. The end of the film really left me with a feeling of disappointment. All is not lost though. If you enjoy Robin Wright and Naomi Watts, their performances are very enjoyable and you get to see them wearing bikinis a lot, which is not a bad thing at all. With the lack of any special features completely, and an average movie, I would recommend renting Adore.