Ado­ra­tion on Wright track

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MOVIES - BY VICKY ROACH

WITH one deft move­ment, Robin Wright de­claws the cougar myth.

“It’s a cliché la­bel,” says the woman who first came to the world’s at­ten­tion in The Princess Bride, an odd­ball 1987 fairy­tale soon to be turned into a Dis­ney stage mu­si­cal.

Wright, who has two grown- up chil­dren with for­mer hus­band Sean Penn, is dis­cussing older women/ younger men re­la­tion­ships in the con­text of her lat­est film, Ado­ra­tion, in which she and Naomi Watts star as two friends who fall in love with each other’s sons ( played by Twi­light’s Xavier Sa­muel and An­i­mal King­dom’s James Frecheville).

But she could just as well be re­spond­ing to the sug­ges­tive com­men­tary in the Bri­tish press last month, when she ap­peared on the red car­pet at the Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val with cur­rent part­ner Kill Your Dar­lings ac­tor Ben Fos­ter who is 15 years her ju­nior.

“Un­de­terred by pho­tog­ra­phers” the Dal­las­born beauty “flashed her bra in a sheer printed grey shirt” and “canoo­dled” with her “toy­boy”, ac­cord­ing to Bri­tain’s Daily Mail.

Re­cently nom­i­nated for an Emmy Award for her per­for­mance as a shrewdly am­bi­tious politi­cians’ wife in Net­flix thriller House of Cards, Wright has carved an idio­syn­cratic path for her­self through the cin­e­matic land­scape, in­ter­spers­ing qual­ity main­stream en­ter­tain­ment such as Moneyball and The Girl With The Dragon Tat­too with more chal­leng­ing art house projects such as Penn’s The Cross­ing Guard and Re­becca Miller’s The Pri­vate Lives of Pippa Lee.

Ado­ra­tion, a ro­man­tic drama set in the sleepy coastal town of Seal Rocks, on the mid- north coast of NSW, def­i­nitely sits in the lat­ter camp

The 47- year- old beauty signed on for the adap­ta­tion of a Doris Less­ing’s short story by di­rec­tor Anne Fon­taine ( Coco Be­fore Chanel) three years ago.

“It’s prob­a­bly one of the most orig­i­nal pieces I have ever read,” Wright says of the screen­play, writ­ten by Dan­ger­ous Li­aisons’ Christo­pher Hamp­ton. “And per­versely beau­ti­ful.” De­spite the po­ten­tially scan­dalous na­ture of the ma­te­rial, Wright says she was supremely con­fi­dent in the abil­ity of Hamp­ton and Fon­taine to con­vey the lay­ers and com­plex­i­ties of Less­ing’s char­ac­ters, who were based on real Aus­tralians.

She and Watts both agree it prob­a­bly took a French­woman to get such an un­con­ven­tional project green­lit.

“With the French, it would just be c’est la vie, c’est nor­male,” Watts says.

“In tone, it’s like that way Euro­peans ac­cept what would seem an ul­tra, uber- lib­eral life­style. But it’s not ti­tled as that. It’s just you feel some­thing, you do it. There’s no judg­ment,” Wright said dur­ing a break from film­ing on lo­ca­tion at an old pub in the Syd­ney sub­urb of Bal­main.

“It’s not seen as Ash­ton Kutcher and Demi Moore, oh my God it’s so un­eth­i­cal, it will never last.”

The con­stant ref­er­ences to Moore’s age dur­ing her eight- year re­la­tion­ship with Kutcher might well ex­plain Wright’s slightly- de­fi­ant stance while talk­ing about her own project in Syd­ney and again while walk­ing the red car­pet in Toronto to pro­mote Fos­ter’s film.

The ac­tor, who plays Wil­liam Bur­rows to Daniel Rad­cliffe’s Allen Gins­berg in Kill Your Dar­lings, vis­ited Wright while she was film­ing in Aus­tralia in Fe­bru­ary last year.

When the ac­tress ini­tially signed up for Ado­ra­tion, then ti­tled The Grand­moth­ers, Ju­lianne Moore had been cast in the role of Roz, the more earthy of the two women. Wright was to play Watt’s char­ac­ter Lil.

Wright ad­mits that she did have some doubts about her on- screen chem­istry with Watts.

“Be­cause we are so sim­i­lar phys­i­cally, in a way, two blonde, pe­tite women. The way Roz is de­scribed in the novella, she is more brash. I had al­ways imag­ined her to be a big­ger per­son and more ag­gres­sive,” she said.

“But it’s work­ing. It’s ac­tu­ally sur­pris­ingly per­fect.” ADO­RA­TION Now show­ing at the State Cin­ema.

PER­FECT MATCH: Naomi Watts, left, and Robin Wright star as Lil and Roz re­spec­tively in the ro­man­tic drama Ado­ra­tion.

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