Two mothers, four lovers

How would you react if you learn that your mother is having sex with your best friend? Well, in Adore, Tom (James Frecheville) decides to go and do the same with his best friend mother. Revenge? Or deliverance?

Anne Fontaine has based her movie on Doris Lessing‘s novel The Grandmothers and created this huge mix of relationships, dealing with cougars and society’ scheme and moral.

Lil (Naomi Watts) and Roz (Robin Wright) knew each other for ever, they grew up together, and both gave life to baby boys. And again, the children grew together, and when they reached 18, all four were having beers around a table, laughing and sharing memories. Obviously it was important to get rid of the fathers, so one died, and the other moved to Sidney.

You may envy their bond, and you get into the whole atmosphere the characters and their environment are creating, where the sea seems to be purifying. But slowly, you start seeing something else being created, a sexual tension between Roz and her best friend son, Ian (Xavier Samuel). They finally sleep together, and as they were very lucky, Tom figured everything out the night it happened, and he ran into Lil’s house, to do the same. At this exact time, I was confused; at the beginning of the film I said to myself “it is for sure that Roz and Liz can’t be together so they chose their respective sons to be with. They tried to get close to each other by any way.” But then, Tom and Ian were also very keen on them, so maybe after all it was consensual love that grew all those years because they were always stuck together. The whole thing was about deliverance, succumb to the oppressive temptation and a fight against taboos.

Adore is a moving story, powerfully sewed by the characters. But Anne Fontaine might have wanted to get too close to a book’s structure. That is to say, that it shows some events, that didn’t seem so important, and because of the length fixed for the film, Fontaine had to go quickly on them. So it may happened that sometimes we think: “okay useless scene”. And we found ourselves laughing at some moments, while we should have taken them seriously.

However what I will remember of this movie, is how far forbidden, “immoral”, abnormal love, a relationship that goes beyond the society’s limit line, are capable of destroying you, and make you hurt the ones who could have permitted you to fit into the normal scheme, by not caring at all about them; such as Tom and Ian did to their wives.

And, you can try, and try, again and again, as hard as you can to fight against your nature and your feelings, you will never succeed. Anne Fontaine did a perfect job in creating a marginal fairytale.

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