American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
"Adore" is, as my late mother would say in describing Sidney Sheldon novels, "good trash."
Shooting in vivid 35mm Cinemascope, director Anne Fontaine exquisitely depicts an otherworldly coastal wonderland: a nook of New South Wales, Australia, that is so secluded and idyllic, it's as if the rules of civilized society don't apply there. It's just sun, sand and surf, with seemingly no responsibilities—all of which lead the gorgeous occupants of this Shangri-La to behave badly.
But! The people playing them are esteemed actresses: Naomi Watts and Robin Wright. And the adapted screenplay comes from a respected writer: Christopher Hampton (who won an Oscar for adapting "Dangerous Liaisons"). The pedigree of the players partly obscures what tawdry guilty pleasure the film is.
Watts and Wright co-star as Lil and Roz, respectively: best friends who've frolicked on these shores and shared secrets since their earliest days of childhood. Now in their mid-40s, they remain as close as ever. They both stayed in their hometown and live just a couple doors away from each other in stylish beachfront homes.