6.21 h 51 min2013X-RayR
Escape to a close-knit seaside community where two lifelong friends find themselves entangled in passionate relationships with each other's sons, and the lines between sex, family, and friendship are blurred.
Anne Fontaine
Naomi WattsRobin WrightXavier Samuel
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Supporting actors
James FrechevilleSophie LoweJessica ToveyBen Mendelsohn
Naomi WattsTroy LumSidonie DumasMichael FellerBarbara GibbsDominique BesnehardFrancis BoespflugPhilippe CarcassonneAndrew Mason
R (Restricted)
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Nudityviolencealcohol usesmokingfoul languagesexual content
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4.3 out of 5 stars

1234 global ratings

  1. 69% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 12% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 7% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 10% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

DammyReviewed in the United States on June 27, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
A daring, vulnerable performance by two of the leading ladies of our time.
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This film reveals more of our own character, than it is any sort of statement on the actors or the story itself. I have read through the excoriation of Naomi and Robin for playing the roles of these mature women and mothers in other reviews, who, by all account, we expect should know better. But isn't this the very issue with society at large, this Draconian insistence that everything is ordered perfectly according to our moral absolutes, our belief of what is right and wrong? If these women were never friends, and this was simply a May-December relationship, repeatedly portrayed in the movies by older men and younger women, which, for the most part, our patriarchal society either winks at or accepts altogether, we would have no issues. The problem here, and understandably so, is that each woman, and mother, given the proximity and intimacy of the women's friendship, practically raised the other's child. However, beyond that affinity, there is absolutely no relationship or blood ties between the young men - for so they were at the onset of these salacious relationships - and these older women.

Some have stated how disgusted they are by the actors for even portraying these women and vowed never to follow them again. For one, isn't it the brilliance of these women's performances, raw, vulnerable, naked, and perhaps even a little self-effacing, that they manage to make us forget for the length of this movie that we are actually watching paid performers acting out a story scripted by writers? Furthermore, the absolute intolerance and unforgiveness with which we approach this, admittedly unconventional, love story, is the very problem with our society today, isn't it? It is sadly the same intolerance with which we approach race, gender, sex, religion, culture, ethnicity, and political affiliation, quick to decry, degrade, and crucify those with whom we seem to share no affinities. This is exactly how we shut the door on dialogue and education, and become dim and distant to mutual understanding.

Let me be clear- this is not a horror story of child molestation (thank heavens!). This is frankly a delicate, daring excursion through the errant, untamable nature of the human heart. These women are taken aback by the caprices of their own responses and reactions to the advances of these "gods" who, in fact, seduce them. They try in truth to do what is "morally right". Yet, here they are nevertheless, swooning like teenagers, falling and percolating in the beautiful azure waters of these unconventional relationships, like the breathtaking beach of New South Wales, in which we watch these beautiful four creatures swim and conquer waves. Furthermore, the young men also attempt, however lazily, to adopt conventional lives as family men. However, in the end, they find out they are tornados and hurricanes in the outside world, whose chaotic forces are only tamed and organized in the private world they have always inhabited with these two women.

Finally, this film, particularly in its magnificent final shot, reminds us that for those whose hearts and souls do not beat or color in black and white, whose souls and hearts are at once resplendently colorful and untidy, that is, to the ones whose love natures cannot help but color outside the conventional lines, there is no place for such souls to thrive in this word so overrun with judgment, intolerance, and moral incrimination, than on an island away from the intrusions and interferences of "well-meaning" detractors, even if that island exists in the privacy of one's heart, and the confidentiality of one's own soul. This is why the four of them are at peace on their rectangular wooden island at sea, far from the rest of the world. They are sea creatures who turn fish out of water on land, and must race back into the water, lest the smug air of land and city, polluted by generations of discriminations, intolerances, injustices and inhumanities, suffocate them mind, body and soul.

Watch the movie without pre-judgment, if you choose, and you might just find it a worthwhile commentary on youth, aging, insecurity, conferred expectations confronting personal truths, and ultimately the beauty, wildness, recklessness, and ugliness of the human heart. It is by no means the greatest movie I have ever seen; far from that; but it is a movie I was quite glad to have seen.
5 people found this helpful
MaryReviewed in the United States on November 18, 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
psychologically thought provoking that will have you rolling over in your mind a thousand questions
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The plot of this movie is simple and doesn't take a lot of turns. That's unnecessary because the 'story' isn't the point of this movie. It is a different animal. It's emotional and psychologically layered. You are constantly thinking about the consequences of your choices. The age difference is a prominent question . The Mom's being lifelong friends have a bond that is PARTLY due to being the same age...they've had shared experiences over time and that is one of the strongest relationships. I love their best friend relationship. The only time the age difference disturbed me was the scene showing the Mom's with the boys when they were preteens and the women, clearly grown. Of course there was no sexual relationship at that point but you know it's coming so that scene grossed me out. What is unlikely about the film is NOT that women would be interested in younger men, but instead that they would be interested in THESE particular younger they had known since they were a baby; men they probably helped raise to a degree. I think psychologically for most women, there wouldn't be that desire. In real life those young men would be a bit like family so there wouldn't be sexual feelings. So your mind wanders to all kinds of questions...did they not see one another but rarely? Would that make it more psychologically plausible? I like a film that makes you think but if you don't want to pick apart a movie psychologically, and merely be entertained, then this isn't the film for you. I am also not comfortable with graphic simulated sex scenes. To me it is voyeuristic and unnecessary. Seems like a low, cheap opportunistic move to make movie money. If you feel the same, probably also not a film for you. As a Christian, I think stories such as this, in movies and in real life, proves that sex outside of marriage can open a real can of worms. I couldn't help but think of all the deep, deep pain these women suffered as a result of falling to temptation and indulging in secret pleasures. It also made me think of how different personality types handle such relationships differently. Ian, could handle it. He seemed very capable of knowing what he wanted very young, feeling it deeply, and committing to it. They discounted his ability to do this due to his age. He only was in the other relationship because he was not given the option of continuing the one he truly wanted. He was right to a degree when he told Roz she had caused the complications and destructions. I went crazy trying to figure out why Roz, in trying to force the right behaviors, almost destroyed them all. I guess she was trying to close the barn door after the horse was already out. But the other young man, Tom, was a much more complicated, inevitable to at least be on a roller coaster. Did he only start the relationship out of revenge?. Did it continue due to youthful hormones only? He didn't seem to know himself as well as Ian and was far more prone to a wandering eye. Yet he could never be free either from his May-December romance. How could such a simple movie, be so complicated, but it is. I'm going to be thinking about this one for a long time. I loved the ending even though many reviews thought it 'resolved nothing'. I think it was clear they were all back together involved in a situation they both could not free themselves and yet doomed when you try to figure out this can end well. Still you oddly find yourself glad they are together none the less. Are these young men willing to stand by these women as they age? Go through menopause? if they develop osteoporosis or get forgetful? If not, did they ruin the ladies opportunities to be with men who would be with them in the bad times as well as the good? Would they always have to be in hiding or be social outcasts? Would their inevitable ex-wives out them? So many questions!!!
40 people found this helpful
HobieNeroReviewed in the United States on August 21, 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
Good movie taboo subject
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septimusReviewed in the United States on December 22, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Naomi Watts glowing in love makes this worthwhile
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Director Anne Fontaine likes to explore unusual desires and obsessions on the part of women (_White as Snow_, _In his Hands_, Nathalie ..._). She also has a fantastic eye for locations, and brings out the best in her actresses. It is great to see Naomi Watts glow with happiness; she so seldom gets to do that in movies! It is less clear what the two older women see in their respective sons, who are good for flings but do they really qualify as loves of the women's lives? Perhaps what is missing is some background of the two older women, whether they have always fancied younger men. I don't think this is Fontaine's best film -- _White as Snow_ has a much stronger intellectual underpinning -- but it is certainly worth watching a second time for me.
One person found this helpful
YACReviewed in the United States on September 1, 2014
4.0 out of 5 stars
I truly enjoyed this movie
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I truly enjoyed this movie. Fine acting all around. Robin Wright was excellent. I love the unusual storyline and glad it takes place not in the USA. The approach to the subject matter is done maturely, thought provoking and decidedly adult. Unlike Americans, others tend to deal with life in a more civilized way, rather than be hung up on what supposedly should be taboo. I get exasperated with the double standard for older women as opposed to older man/young woman. Debbie Moore kept getting talked about for a 15 year difference, but nobody batted an eye at Michael Douglas marrying someone 25 years younger!!!! The scenery is out of this world; it made me want to dive into the movie from the start. Five stars to the breathtaking filming and flowing directing. It's in my mind a romantic film with a particular (short) scene reflecting how love, passion and desire overwhelms judgment.

In response to certain negative comments, I felt compelled to state the following. Both men were OVER 18 years of age. THEY pursued the women, not the other way around. No seduction at any time was contemplated by either woman. Both women were logically thinking that eventually the young men would move on with their lives with others once it ran its course. Is it so terrible to be so human when confronted with love and desire, albeit seemingly inappropriate by some people's standards? Think about films such as Love In The Afternoon, Entrapment, etc., with considerably older men being desired by much younger women and surrendering to love. Do they get labeled or scorned? Ironically, the women's decision to abruptly end the relationships was possibly the catalyst which led the men to poor judgmental actions causing hurt to innocent others. It was not anyone's fault but theirs alone, both men old enough to make choices. If the women had been truly selfish, they would not have decided to end it. I suppose it is difficult for a young person to understand the conflicting emotions which can be experienced by a mature woman when she attracts a persistent younger man. Believe me it is not easy to step away from, especially in such close circumstances facing it day in and day out as it was most definitely in this particular case. This movie beckons deeper understanding of its emotional conflicts rather than snap social judgment.
12 people found this helpful
POINTMANReviewed in the United States on January 29, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
OUTSTANDING.....despite the taboos...
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I have noticed in my years that just about every social trend, regardless of its size or its impact, finds its way to the movie screen.

One way or another, it’s gonna be reflected, regardless of its presenters intent.

With that said, I am fully aware of the “cougar, MILF, Older woman/younger man” craze that has been amplified tremendously since the “American Pie” movie series, and I do believe this craze to be deliberate in promotions.

I don’t take a position against it , because I too experienced an older woman during my teen years. In fact, I believe every young man should be introduced to love-making by an older woman with nurturing behaviors solidified with maturity , guidance, pure honesty and a caressing will for understanding.

I believe this to be a defining moment when crossing the threshold into real manhood, a very important building block that has obviously vanished From the silver screen........including all of its aspects......only to be replaced with very poisonous moralistic disasters that now have 3rd, 4th, & 5th graders already declaring a sexual preference.

In my opinion, that’s art and entertainment acting viciously irresponsibly.

But, anyway....this movie, “Adore” , was nothing less than outstanding in every way.

The only part of it that I applaud the most, was the honesty it showed, which in my opinion, was the glue that kept it tolerable, and kept the relationships bonded.

Integrity cannot grow without honesty.....and real manhood cannot reach its full potential without integrity.

How else can one grow from lessons learned?

Again , outstanding performances, outstanding production, outstanding location, and outstandingly written.

Outstanding movie.
One person found this helpful
Anna BuschReviewed in the United States on December 21, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Enjoyable, idyllic romantic drama with natural chemistry between the actors
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Yes, it's a taboo subject matter, but the performances are effortlessly real with raw emotions conveyed. The plot meanders a little three-fourths toward the end when time has passed within the storyline but effortlessly picks up when the conflict and "elephant in the room" is addressed, and is made aware to a few minor characters who are oblivious to what they've involved themselves in. But the believable friendship chemistry between Naomi Watts and Robin Wright, and the sizzling romantic/sexual chemistry between Wright and Xavier Samuel keeps you watching till the end. A rewatchable indie film. Recommended if you like atypical romantic dramas and older women/younger men romantic relationship films.
One person found this helpful
Lori DavisReviewed in the United States on December 21, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Very Thought Provoking!
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Beautiful scenery and very interesting subject matter. If you're a woman who hasn't ever been in a love affair with a much younger man, I'd say "don't knock it til you try it". I do wish this movie would of explored more of the emotions that come from such relationships, but there was just so much crammed into this as it was, that there were several things that things that didn't get explained or explored. I think it would've been a better story if all 4 weren't involved with each other, but no matter what it's definitely a thought provoking movie.
One person found this helpful
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