Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Two Mothers (2013)

Director: Anne Fontaine

Starring:  Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, Ben Mendelsohn, Xavier Samuel, James Frecheville, Sophie Lowe, Gary Sweet, Jessica Tovey, Alyson Standen, Charlee Thomas, Dane Eade, Scott Pirlo

More info: IMDb

Plot:  A gripping tale of love, lust, and the power of friendship, Two Mothers charts the unconventional and passionate affairs embarked upon by two lifelong friends, Lil and Roz, who fall in love with each other’s sons. Afraid of facing the ire and judgment of their insular seaside community, they continue the relationships in secret over the years. Once the affairs are discovered, the revelation threatens to tear apart their lives and those of the young men, who must eventually choose between following a well-worn path or their true desires.

My rating? 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Nah, once was good..

That this is based on a true story helps make it easier to swallow as it’s a pretty outrageous story to begin with.  The setup for the affairs almost had me.  The point where Wright (I forget which actor plays which role) has sex with Frecheville the first time worked but it was how Watts had her first encounter that felt like it needed a little more build up to give it that sense of “I can see that happening”.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still on board at this point and I’ve got plenty of suspension of disbelief to pony up if necessary.

My eyes were glued to the screen.  I didn’t anticipate the outcome.  I’m along for the ride wherever it may take me.  My curiosity was being toyed with until the credits.  What’s going to happen next?  WTF?  And then maybe another WTF?  Wright and Watts are scrummy.  I really enjoyed this one.  It’s a most unusual story that has very good performances and a gorgeous Australian oceanfront locale.  I recommend this one if you think you can handle the subject matter.  It’s not for the tame but then It’s not a scorching, over the edge film, either.  It may challenge you.  Will you accept that this could happen and in the way it was laid out for you or do you outright dismiss it as immoral or downright wrong? 

At the Sundance Film Festival screening I attended (the world premiere at that), there was a surprising amount of laughter at inappropriate moments.  I was offended by it but realized afterward that it was likely due to nervousness.  I talked to quite a few people about it in the days since seeing it and most people didn’t like it.  One woman said the laughter came from how bad the film was.  I disagree and after spending ten minutes talking to her I disagreed with most things she said. I thought perhaps I may be more easily inclined to accept it because I’ve watched so many movies that maybe I might be desensitized to the point of digging it.  But how about maybe this is a really good film and it just isn’t for everyone…or even most?

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