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Director: 'Adore' Explores Desire

2 Dec, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey

Sordid could be one way to describe the sexually charged Adore. Director Anne Fontaine (Coco Before Chanel) prefers passionate … and disturbing.

“For me it’s a very, very passionate story about love, a classic story that’s both very sensual and very disturbing,” Fontaine said. “The attractions we can have are very strong. Adore isn’t something you always see in life, a mixture of transgression and desire.”

The film follows two beautiful, life-long, 40-something girlfriends (Naomi Watts and Robin Wright) who spend their days with their equally beautiful early-20-something sons (Xavier Samuel and James Frecheville), in their hometown, a secluded coastal paradise in Australia.

The sons are close friends as well, and the foursome spend much of their time together, leading to a fantasy made real: The sons begin sleeping with each other’s mothers.

Paramount Home Media Distribution releases Adore on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and digital Dec. 10.

Fontaine said it was most important to cast the film correctly, in order to give the characters weight, and not make it purely about sexual exploration and deviation. Enter Watts (Eastern Promises) and Wright (“House of Cards”).

“Naomi is such a great actress, and I felt she could interpret [her] part very well,” Fontaine said. “And I met Robin in France, and I didn’t know her very well, but after thinking about it a year later, I made the decision to put the two of them together. They were like sisters, and it turned out to be good for the story.”

Fontaine said it was equally important that she stay as true as she could to Nobel Prize winner Doris Lessing’s novella, on which the story is based. Lessing died Nov. 17 at the age of 94.

“At the beginning we had French producers for the story, and they had the idea to make it in France,” Fontaine said. “But after I met Doris Lessing in London, just before [filming] the movie, she spoke about where the story takes place in reality, how she heard the story from an 18-year-old boy, and she said it takes place in a paradise, and that it had to be in a very little community, away from the world.”

Thus the decision to move the location to a picture-perfect seaside Australian town, Adore, and to shoot the film in 35 mm Cinemascope.

“I chose to have a high quality of photography, something that looks beautiful,” Fontaine said.

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