Plot: A pair of childhood friends and neighbors fall for each other’s sons.
For a plot this interesting, and visuals this brilliant, “Adore” just falls flat on its face. And it doesn’t start that way, it starts as a somewhat haunting, sensually provocative film and crashes about an hour in and becomes an overlong, overdone piece of dreck with shiny visual splendor.
Naomi Watts, and especially Robin Wright, are perfectly cast for their roles. Naomi plays Lil and Robin plays Roz, two life-long best friends whose relationship is put to the test when they start a sexual relationship with the other’s son. Lil’s husband Theo passed away in a car accident, which set into motion an even stronger bond between mothers, friends, and sons than before. Xavier Samuel and James Frecheville nicely play the sons Ian and Tom respectfully, whom are the two catalysts of the story. Ben Mendelsohn has some nice chemistry with Robin’s character Roz, giving a fine performance as her husband Harold, who is somehow completely oblivious to the whole ordeal.
The film was written by Anne Fontaine and Christopher Hampton, and was directed by Fontaine. The screenplay is far from something that would win awards, it’s overdone, overlong, and gets quite boring near the end which is strange because there were some nice surprises at the very end. It actually starts off as a very interesting, fast-paced movie and then looses steam halfway through. Literally 20 minutes could be cut out and it wouldn’t make a difference. I would however like to state that I appreciated the film’s tone, keeping the story more sensual than graphically sexual. If it were made more graphic it just would’ve made the movie worse.
The direction was brilliant, the finest thing about the movie apart from Wright’s and Watts’s performances. The cinematography was hauntingly beautiful, an absolute eye-popping visual splendor. The movie was shot in Australia, which accounts for the beautiful ocean backdrop and wonderful island scenery. This movie feels more visually driven than plot driven, in all honesty.
In conclusion, “Adore” is a sensual, well acted, and visually stunning movie that is weighed down by a lackluster, boring screenplay. The constant tonal shifts are also definitely a put off. While not a horrible film by any means, the only real reason to watch it is for the beautiful island scenery and excellent performances.
My Rating: 6.5/10
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