Adore Blu-ray Review
known as Perfect
Mothers in certain countries) is a serious dramatic film from the
filmmaker Anne Fontaine (Coco Before Chanel),
and it is an adaptation of a short novel written by Doris Lessing. This
adaptation was done by Christopher Hampton (screenwriter) and Anne
also worked on planning the adaptation.
film's story focuses upon two close life-long friends, Lil
(Naomi Watts) and Roz (Robin Wright), who have grown up together since
They have each had disappointingly underwhelming relationships with the
their lives. They both have close attachments, however, to their
who they have both helped to raise (in a way, each of them almost acted
second mother). As the storyline unfolds, the audience sees the boys
adults, named Ian (Xavier Samuel) and Tom (James Frencheville). Over
spent amidst all four of them, the son of Lil falls for Roz.
son falls for Lil.
in essence a complicated romantic drama about what
happens when two close lifelong friends begin to have affections for
other's sons, who are mutually interested in them. The story is one
that could have
easily been overly melodramatic and poorly done: something more focused
'thriller' aspect or on making the film's romantic element feel more
what some might describe as being a 'guilty pleasure' of some sort. Yet
not what Adore sets out to do and accomplishes
through the superb direction from Fontaine.
film has a slow-building, well-paced approach where the
focus always remains upon these characters and the story that involves
revolves) around them. While the script
is mostly a quiet one - many sequences focus primarily upon the
acting of the performers more than anything - the detail and
delivered by the lead cast is rather remarkable. The cast works well in
to form a cohesive and intelligent ensemble.
Watts (who is in fact my favorite actress) delivers
an exceptional performance here. The
emotion of the character is strongly felt both during the scenes where
character is becoming attached to the son of her best friend and when
character faces emotional turmoil when the question arises as to if
possible for the younger man and herself to stay together: did they
line (the mothers) or is it simply a matter of time before these newfound relationships meet their
demise? These are some of the emotionally complex questions that are
the storytelling of Adore.
Wright is equally up for the challenge Fontaine placed
as a filmmaker. Her performance may have even been the most complex to
Roz is quiet the fascinating character. She is frequently solemn and
within her own world but she is also deeply attached to her friend Lil,
relationship that she forms with Lil's son almost seems to be a bridge
particularly fascinating aspect of Adore is found in
the way in which ambiguity exists in the storyline.
The relationship between Lil and Roz is never quite clear -- this is of
debatable. However, there are several key moments in the film in which
closeness to one another was raised as a question by other characters
story. The suggestion being that Lil and Roz were in a relationship
that was more than what others had originally thought. This is notable
characters laugh-off the suggestion but they also discuss (vaguely) a
they both spent "experimenting" together. One might make the
hypothesis that these characters are in love, more so than either is
admit, and that the relationships with each other's sons is in an
unusual way a
form of connection that brings them closer to one another emotionally.
a possible interpretation.
course, one could easily walk away from the experience
thinking the story was about other metaphorical concepts, or that it
a straightforward dramatic story about how many complications can arise
romance and love. Either way, I found the story fascinating, sad,
and intelligent. It also features an ambiguous final scene, one which
a possible future or that harkens back to an earlier moment in the film
once again collaborates with cinematographer
Christophe Beaucarne, who adds a remarkable visual sensibility to the
filmmaking with lushly realized color combined with a modern, clean,
beautiful photographic approach. Adore
also features an excellent score composed by Christopher Gordon, which
appropriate backdrop to the feature that is emotionally resonant when
and breezy as well. There is much to appreciate about this film. While I don't consider Adore
as impressive as Coco
Before Chanel (which is amongst my favorite films of the past
years) it is nonetheless an ambitious
effort with a lot of great qualities: performances, music,
Fontaine's unique creative approach. Fans of art-house cinema and
relationship-based dramas will find a lot to appreciate with this
remarkable transfer with a 1080p HD presentation that preserves the
aspect ratio of 2.39:1. This is another winning transfer from
MPEG-4 AVC encoding has a tremendous bit-rate that often resides
the 30mbps range (and which often peaks around 40 mbps, a tremendous
range for any film). Viewers will undoubtedly find this transfer to be
perfectly satisfactory. I noticed no anomalies with the transfer and it
remarkable to discover such a first-rate presentation given to this
audio presentation is a good match for the
tremendous video presentation. While it's not a bass-heavy presentation
lot of 'overwhelming' surround usage (nor should it be given it would
of place in this romantic drama) it's a
rather intelligently designed sound mix, one which features decent
activity and an enveloping approach with regards to the music score and
occasional ambiance provided by sound-effects in the film.
I was not expecting
a great deal from the audio presentation and was surprised by how lush
effective the sound design ultimately was on this release. It's a
DTS-HD Master Audio presentation utilizing 5.1 surround sound. Adore has received a good lossless boost
on Blu-ray that should leave discerning audiophiles satisfied with the
are provided in English, English SDH (for
the deaf and hard of hearing), and Spanish.
are no supplements on this Blu-ray
release. It's a bit disappointing that no extras are included as I
liked to know some background information on the filmmaking, Fontaine's
approach, and perhaps some thoughts on the film by the cast.
compelling and effectively made romantic-drama with
remarkable lead performances by Naomi Watts and Robin Wright. With the
artistic direction of Anne Fontaine, this is a worthwhile and
achievement both as an intimate character-study and as a technically
production. Fans of dramatic cinema and art-house fare will appreciate
layers of the story and performances.
on Blu-ray with stellar PQ/AQ but without any
bonus materials, the release merits a strong recommendation based on
of the film and it's quality technical presentation.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.