Based on the book The Grandmothers by Doris Lessing, screenplay writer Christopher Hampton and director Anne Fontaine take what could have easily become a cheesy soft porn setup and explore the psychological effects that these bizarre relationships have on not only the guilty, but also on the innocent bystanders that come into play during the third act of the film.
The video encode is a mixed bag due to some wavering brightness issues in some of the darker scenes. Fortunately, the majority of the film takes place in brightly lit exteriors on the beach, which could be used by the Australian Visitors Bureau to get you to trek halfway around the world—they are simply beautiful. Colors are naturally balanced throughout, and fleshtones have revealing detail, showing off the beauty of Watts and Wright. The dialogue-heavy audio track has intelligible audio, an engaging score, and the occasional surround envelopment, especially with the waves crashing in the background.
If you’re a fan of supplements, you’re out of luck, since the only extra is an Ultra- Violet Digital Copy.
My wife and I actually found ourselves beset with uncomfortable laughter on many occasions, especially when the couples were first hooking up. All we could think about were our kids’ friends, who we’ve seen grow up since they were babies—and in no way, shape, or form could we ever imagine anything like this occurring. Granted, we don’t live in the twisted environment of Hollywood! While not a great film, it does make for good discussion afterwards, and Fontaine portrays an icky moral dilemma with distinction and a semblance of class.
Studio: Paramount, 2013
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio Format: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Length: 111 mins.
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Anne Fontaine
Starring: Naomi Watts, Robin Wright