Adore (August 15/13)
Directed by Anne Fontaine, Adore follows two lifelong friends (Robin Wright's Roz and Naomi Watts' Lil) as they fall in love (and embark on affairs) with each other's sons (Xavier Samuel's Ian and James Frecheville's Tom). There's little doubt that Adore fares best in its subdued yet engaging first half, as Fontaine, working from a script by Christopher Hampton, does a nice job of luring the viewer into the movie's almost plotless atmosphere - with the strong performances, eye-catching cinematography, and overall vibe of easy naturalism perpetuating the movie's perfectly watchable feel. Even in its early stages, however, Adore suffers from a handful of problems that effectively prevent one from wholeheartedly connecting to the material - with, for example, Samuel and Frecheville's inability to transform their sketchily-drawn characters into three-dimensional figures ensuring that Ian and Tom remain interchangeable for much of the film's running time. The movie doesn't shift from passable to interminable until around the halfway mark, after which point Hampton begins overloading the proceedings with needlessly conventional elements (eg Lil grows increasingly convinced that Roz's son is going to cheat on her). It does, as a result, become more and more obvious that Adore, which is based on a short story by Doris Lessing, simply doesn't contain enough plot to sustain a feature, with the rather endless final half hour cementing the movie's place as a promising yet wholly misguided piece of work.