Adore (2013) aka Two Mothers aka Adoration (based on the novel The Grandmothers by Doris Lessing) is uncomfortable and unconventional and pretty good.
Let me introduce Lil and Roz: They are neighbours and since girlhood, have been very close friends. That friendship continues to the present day where they are mothers to adult sons, who likewise, are best friends.What’s the problem you ask? So, uhm, there isn’t really a problem as such…it’s just…well, to many a viewer the situation that unfolds becomes awkward, yet totally absorbing. You see, one simmering summer, emotions can no longer be suppressed and a new set of “friendships” are started (or, rather, brought into the open). Lil‘s (Naomi Watts) son Ian (Xavier Samuel) acts upon his feelings for Roz (Robin Wright) which in turn triggers Tom (James Frecheville) and Lil‘s relationship. Being friends, the women discuss the line they have crossed and agree that they will never repeat what has happened. But, obviously (otherwise there wouldn’t be a story), things are not so clear-cut and simple. How this all unfolds is up to you to find out.
Initially, I felt very uncomfortable watching this movie and kept looking around feeling guilty. At the same time, I was intrigued, finding myself more and more engrossed (and less and less guilty) while starting to feel sympathetic towards the two couples. I could never shake the feeling that it was so wrong yet it got me thinking. Is it really that wrong? The mothers are, after all, friends and not related (as is true of the sons). I think the fact that these are mothers (and best friends) and their respective sons is where the questions are raised. Would it be different if the mothers and sons had not known each other and met in a “more conventional” way? Shouldn’t the mothers be more responsible (granted, Roz does try)? Is it really true love when a man falls for his mother’s friend/his friend’s mother? I’ll leave these up to you to ponder.
While there has been criticism around the acting (or lack of), I quite enjoy the feeling I get of not watching a movie but rather a snippet of people’s lives. The understated performances effectively portray that this is life. As it comes. That they are not putting on a show.
Filmed along the stunning coast of New South Wales, Australia, and directed by Anne Fontaine, it also stars Ben Mendelsohn as Roz‘s husband (as I said, things aren’t so straight forward). Here’s something different. Something definitely not mainstream. It will give you an unconventional love story (or stories) showing the love of friends, the love of parents, the love of lovers, true love, faked love, the works. As tensions rise, relationships are challenged and people are hurt. One thing’s for sure: things can never go back to what they were. You will definitely remember this one.