A pair of childhood friends who become lifelong companions and neighbours, fall for each other’s sons in this Australian co-production filmed along the north coast of New South Wales.
Adoration is the newest film from Anne Fontaine about to be released in cinemas, this is the follow up film to Fontaine’s 2011 project My Worse Nightmare and an adaptation of the novel written by Doris Lessing called The Grandmothers.
Taking place in a small town along the Australian coast Adoration primarily follows the friendship of its two central characters and explores the nature of this friendship, motherhood, lust and misguided love.
Set over a number of years Adoration quickly sets the scene for this group of characters respective journey’s to begin. Overall the film is paced quite slowly, more so earlier in the film as events move to more dramatic heights that populate the latter parts of the film. Fontaine takes the time to establish the relationships of the characters and the isolated environment which they are living in, however all of this feels a little flat as events meander towards each character’s inevitable transgressions.
Things become far more interesting of course as Fontaine explores the drama and complications of the deviant relationships as they begin. The story effectively articulates the emotional struggles of its characters, and the selfish and confused paths that they take in order to satisfy their personal desires and Fontaine also makes the most of some beautiful scenery at her disposal for the film, establishing a sense of isolation and disconnect with society.
Broadening the story to take place over several years feels a little jarring at times, however by the films end it allows a more thorough take on these relationships, and adds a wider perspective to be displayed allowing the film to capitalise on the longevity of the ramifications of the characters actions.
Adoration employs a skilled cast to deliver the film however performances are somewhat mixed across the board. The dialogue can feel clunky as does its delivery which resulted in audience laughter during the preview screening at times where there really shouldn’t be any. Further to that the main characters of this story prove at times to be a frustrating group to watch.
This is a film likely to have audiences shaking their heads and wanting to call these characters out to account and to take some responsibility for their behaviour, however where the film is quite skilful is laying the foundations for what motivates their actions and therein lies an interesting post-film discussion for viewers to engage in.
Overall I was left feeling mixed about this film and am unlikely to revisit it in the future, however at a minimum it makes for an interesting discussion piece following a group viewing. I’m giving Adoration 6 out of 10 stars, the film opens from Thursday 21st November 2013.