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Review of "ADORATION"
By Jayne Waterford
Copyrighted © Jayne Waterford, 2013. Written 2nd December 2013. First published 2nd December 2013.
REVIEW: "ADORATION" by Jayne Waterford

Anne Fontaine's "ADORATION" (2013) is a raunchy morality tale that shows how young men get fucked up if fiddled with when immature: marrying their first girlfriends, taking on adult responsibility and commitment when 21 etc. and then blowing it all away in a tantrum due to deep, unbreakable commitment. It shows adult women approximating doing the right thing and all with plenty of eye candy.

Doris Lessing, recently deceased in London, wrote a novel, The Grandmothers, and as pre-production commenced she admitted that the book was based on a story told to her by an Australian. We are a hedonistic lot. Consequently this awful and intense situation was set on our shores, literally. The director is French the characters strong if a little silly and self-indulgent and therefore two magnificent actors, Naomi Watts (Lil) and Robin Wright (Roz) were attracted to the lead roles opposite Aussie super hunks, Xavier Samuels (Ian) and James Frecheville (Tom). "They're like young gods," observes Roz before the mess takes off. They are all gorgeous and make the men in their lives played by Ben Mendelsohn (Harold, Roz's living husband) and Gary Sweet (a deluded twit, Saul, who could never see the point of Lil's deceased husband and believes she should want him even if she's a

lesbian) look quite raggedy. And I suppose that's the interesting thing about Lessing's writing. She's unsparing.

Lil and Roz at one point consider a kiss they shared when they were practicing. "We're not lesbos are we," Lil asks. If nothing "ADORATION" is titillating.

So the idealistic Lil (Watts)'s husband Theo died early in our story leaving her with her son Ian (Samuels). They live next door to pragmatic, clear and strong Roz (Wright) and Harold (Mendolsohn) and their son of the same age, Tom (Frecheville). Their houses are never locked. They all grow up and Harold scores a job as a theatre lecturer at Sydney University, some distance away which is a simple device to first move Harold out of the way and later move Tom into a process of individuation and the path of his first wife.

The production notes if not the film are quite starry-eyed about the situation, talking in terms of people being, "left alone across one perfect Summer," and, "respective attraction." They would have us believe their relationships are like a Dalton vase supporting inter-wound tendril designs flowing to the lip. Lil is hesitant to be involved with the pragmatic Tom but doesn't take much seducing. Roz on the other hand, at first, seems to be putting Ian out of his tormented misery of being in

love with her. They live together in heaven for a while and then Roz decides it couldn't last and must be set to rights. We will once again become "responsible pillars of society... mother-in-laws... grandmothers."

The time lapses are great. Girls turn into women and then their sons leap from the funeral for Theo held in childhood and the attendant surfing to young, buff adulthood.

These four virtually live swimming in the water at their front doors. There's a pontoon out in middle distance which seems to be a sanctuary.

Very memorable even if Samuels went for a pouty interpretation of hurt Ian. 7/10

Copyrighted ©: Jayne Waterford, 2013.

Anne Fontaine's "ADORATION" (2013)
Director Anne Fontaine
Stars Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, Xavier Samuel, James Frecheville, Ben Mendelsohn and Sophie Lowe
Release Date 21st November 2013
Category Drama
Running Time 111 minutes (1 hour, 51 minutes)
Rating MA15+ Strong sex scenes and coarse language
Origin Australia
Coda No

Distributor Hopscotch Films
Official Blurb "Based on the novella by the acclaimed Nobel Prize-winning writer Doris Lessing, "ADORATION" is a gripping tale of love, lust and the power of friendship that charts the unconventional and passionate affairs embarked on by two lifelong friends. This beautiful and heart-wrenching story follows Lil
(Watts) and Roz (Wright), who fall in love with each other's teenaged sons. Afraid of facing the ire and judgment of their insular seaside community, the two affairs continue over the years in secret, until their discovery threatens to tear apart the new lives and families of the young men, who must eventually choose between following a well-worn path, or following their true desires.? An Australian co-production, "ADORATION" was shot on the picturesque north coast of NSW, and features an exquisite visual confidence coupled with a bold approach to storytelling. Adapted by Academy Award®-winner Christopher Hampton (Joe Wright's "ATONEMENT" (2007), Stephen Frears' "DANGEROUS LIAISONS" (1988)) and directed by Anne Fontaine ("COCO BEFORE CHANEL" (2009)) this is an erotic tale of misguided love and a celebration of the enduring nature of female friendship.

"ADORATION" is a fearless portrait of love, lust and friendship. Directed by Anne Fontaine ("COCO BEFORE CHANEL"), "ADORATION" tells the story of two lifelong friends Lil (Naomi Watts) and Roz (Robin Wright). They live in a tranquil Australian seaside town and embark on separate, passionate affairs that change their lives forever. They both find unexpected happiness in relationships that cross the bounds of convention.

Adapted from a novel by Nobel Prize winning author Doris Lessing by Academy Award winner Christopher Hampton (Joe Wright's "ATONEMENT"), this provocative, yet sensual film radiates with exquisite performances. Shot entirely on the east coast of New South Wales, "ADORATION" co-stars Ben Mendelsohn, Xavier Samuel, James Frecheville and Sophie Lowe.

We are very excited to be releasing this truly captivating film on November 21. In the meantime check out the official trailer below. We can promise you that "ADORATION" will stimulate conversation, so we suggest you make it a group cinema outing. In other words expect the unexpected, as this story is likely to become one of the most talked about films of this year." - Hopscotch Films PR

Best friends Lil (Naomi Watts, right) and Roz (Robin Wright) in a scene from Anne Fontaine's ADORATION
A Hopscotch eOne release
Roz (Robin Wright, left) and Ian (Xavier Samuel) in a scene from Anne Fontaine's ADORATION
A Hopscotch eOne release
Lil (Naomi Watts) in a scene from Anne Fontaine's ADORATION
A Hopscotch eOne release
Lil (Naomi Watts, right) and director Anne Fontaine making Fontaine's "ADORATION"
A Hopscotch eOne release