Directed by Anne Fontaine
Produced by Philippe Carcassonne, Michel Feller, Barbara Gibbs
Screenplay by Christopher Hampton
Based on The Grandmothers by Doris Lessing
Starring Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, Ben Mendelsohn, Xavier Samuel, James Frecheville
2013 Australian-French romantic drama takes the story of Doris Lessing’s British Novella ‘The Grandmothers’ and twists it into an Anna Fontaine directed movie of passion, imperfection and difficult love.
Set in the most beautiful of locations on the coast of Australia, and based around the core of two childhood best friends (Lil and Roz); now mothers with sons who are close as they are, Naomi Watts and Robin Wright deliver a sweet serving of sparkling love, but to the most surprising of men.
As they begin to admire the handsomeness of each other’s sons, the boys make the first move with passionate kisses to the best friend of each boy’s own mother. Spanning many years, the story follows the regrets of the parents for their actions committed in adoration, the overwhelming desire to feel their forbidden lovers again, and the tear-jerking heartbreak as all four characters settle for less than what they truly wanted, as the boys move on with their own lives, and eventually have their own wives and children.
The conflicts of the peaks and lows of an age gap love is powerful and heart grabbing, as you watch both the boys and the mothers struggle between what they tell themselves is right and what they feel is right emotionally.
As far as acting goes, all performances are admirably strong and as believable as can be.
In a dreamy tale of settling for second best, leaving none of the four main characters truly happy, the movie floats away on a platform in the deep Australian ocean, but I have to say my interest in the movie started to float away about 20 minutes before the ending.
For such a simple and sweet movie, I didn’t feel it was necessary to step over 90 minutes, as the power of this movie and the affect it was designed to have on the viewer is all achieved within the first three quarters of an hour.