Release date: September 6
Director: Anne Fontaine
Stars: Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, Xavier Samuel, James Frecheville
Why it's terrible: It wasn't the fault of "Adore" -- we hope, at least -- that Nobel Prize winner Doris Lessing, one of our greatest contemporary authors, passed away this year. But the timing was certainly unfortunate, as many an obituary either led or concluded with a mention of this grievously botched adaptation of Lessing's novella "Two Mothers" -- if not one of the year's most inept films, certainly among the most misguided. The premise is challenging, for better and worse: two lifelong best friends test the limits of their bond by sleeping with each other's sons. In prose, it works as a coolly theoretical examination of social and sexual taboos, and the limits of desire. On film, however, the sheer outlandishness of the idea comes to the fore -- and with French director Anne Fontaine working outside her natural element in Australia, the film emerges as a kind of surreal, soft-core, harp-scored soap opera in which nobody speaks, acts or responds like an identifiable human being. It's hard to look away -- and not only because everyone in it is really, really ridiculously good-looking -- but harder still to fathom what anyone involved was thinking.
- Guy Lodge