6.2/10
29,531
105 user 143 critic

Adore (2013)

Adoration (original title)
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A pair of childhood friends and neighbors fall for each other's sons.

Director:

Anne Fontaine

Writers:

Anne Fontaine (screenplay), Doris Lessing (book) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
2,279 ( 4)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Naomi Watts ... Lil
Robin Wright ... Roz
Xavier Samuel ... Ian
James Frecheville ... Tom
Ben Mendelsohn ... Harold
Jessica Tovey ... Mary
Sophie Lowe ... Hannah
Gary Sweet ... Saul
Alyson Standen ... Molly
Skye Sutherland Skye Sutherland ... Young Roz
Sarah Henderson Sarah Henderson ... Young Lil
Isaac Cocking Isaac Cocking ... Young Tom
Brody Mathers Brody Mathers ... Young Ian
Alice Roberts Alice Roberts ... Roz's grand-daughter
Charlee Thomas Charlee Thomas ... Lil's grand-daughter
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Storyline

Lil (Naomi Watts) and Roz (Robin Wright) are two lifelong friends, having grown up together as neighbors in an idyllic beach town. As adults, their sons have developed a friendship as strong as that which binds their mothers. One summer, all four are confronted by simmering emotions that have been mounting between them, and each find unexpected happiness in relationships that cross the bounds of convention. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

Australia | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 April 2013 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Adore See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,646, 20 September 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$317,125, 29 September 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Doris Lessing's original novel "The Grandmothers" was said to be based on a true incident. See more »

Goofs

Sophie Lowe plays Hannah and Jessica Tovey plays Mary, but their roles are swapped in the end credits. See more »

Quotes

Lil: She's known him since he was a baby.
Tom: Then they've probably been thinking about it for quite a while... wouldn't you say?
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Soundtracks

In These Shoes
Written by Kirsty MacColl, Pete Glenister, Willie Bobo (as Willie "Bobo" Correa) & Melvin Lastie
Performed by Kirsty MacColl
Published by Native Tongue Music Publishing, on behalf of Bug Music Ltd / Mushroom Music Publishing Pty Ltd / Asereco Music Publishing Co (ASCAP) / Adormel Music Publishing, Inc (BMI)
Under license from V2 Records Ltd (UK) / Mercury Records Ltd (UK)
Licensed courtesy of Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd
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User Reviews

 
More to offer than a controversial premise
18 August 2013 | by Emma_StewartSee all my reviews

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.


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