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Adoration exposes forbidden passions

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Adoration is a potent exploration of love, loss and possession, illustrating the lengths people will go to once conventions are challenged, lines are crossed and life comes full circle.

Based on the novella The Grandmothers, by Nobel Prize-winning writer Doris Lessing, this Australian/French co-production highlights the innate human instinct for love, juxtaposed with the many layers and complications brought about by morality and obsession.

After the sudden death of her husband, Lil (Naomi Watts) finds comfort and support in life-long friend Roz (Robin Wright). The women have young boys of the same age, Ian (Xavier Samuel) and Tom (James Frecheville), who learn to ride the waves of change together as the adults around them navigate their way through their own grief.

After leaving their idyllic coastal town in northern New South Wales to investigate a job opportunity in Sydney, Roz’s husband Harold (Ben Mendelsohn) is offered the chance of a promotion. Subsequently, his absence sparks temptation and intrigue for Lil and Roz, causing social norms to fly in the face of forbidden passion as the women enter a dangerous new playing field.

What follows is an outside-the-square exploration of love, desire, intimacy and surrender, kept afloat by secrets that serve to segregate the families from their community while keeping them intrinsically bound to each other. This is highlighted when Saul (Gary Sweet) attempts to express his affection and is ultimately left to draw his own conclusion.

While the subject matter is sure to ruffle feathers, this sophisticated drama is presented with conviction and sensitivity, exposing the many layers of human frailty and all its complexity. It seems we are encoded towards resolution of the past, which ensures the cyclic re-emergence of unresolved family history.

Director Anne Fontaine delivers a compelling and credible tale of an incredible set of circumstances that have the potential to turn the lives of two extended families upside down and inside out. Adoration sends a message that while it’s human nature to fulfil our heart’s desire and want things our own way, failing to consider the far-reaching implications of our actions can irrevocably change lives.

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