SYNOPSIS: Inseparable from a young age, Lil and Roz live in perfect harmony with their children, two singularly graceful young boys who seem to be an extension of their mothers. Their husbands are absent. Inexplicably and yet inevitably, both women grow closer to each other's sons, forming passionate relationships with them. Hidden from view, in an almost supernatural seaside Eden, the quartet live an unconventional story until age puts an end to dissoluteness. Or at least, that's what it appears to do...


Perfect Mothers to the conservative crowd might just be a sick movie despite a lush cinematography of New South Wales, Australia and a bunch of good-looking cast. The drama based on a story by British writer Doris Lessing falls short in every attempt to convince audience that this is actually a story worth telling.

Plausibility aside, Naomi Watts and Robin Wright plays two childhood friends/cougars, Lil and Roz. Both married with a son each, they lived close to each other near the beach and their relationship remains tight after the death of Lil’s husband. Years later, Lil’s son Ian (Xavier Samuel) falls in love and initiate a sexual relationship with Roz. With the initial intent of revenging his best friend for involving with her mum, Roz’s son, Tom (James Frecheville) too started a sexual relationship with Lil.

French filmmaker Anne Fontaine (Coco Before Chanel) and screenwriter Christopher Hampton brought no justification to the morally questionable tale. I guess for the almost two hours duration they are contended in presenting the two well-built young men surfing and Watts and Wright frolicking in their swimwear. And of course some classily staged sex scenes. Why on earth is Ian attracted to the mum of his best friend? Is she the best person for him to confide in when he is sorrow or is the older woman just makes a good sex partner?  

The setup fails to convince the complex relationship between the foursome other than the casual sexual approach. The drama went on the extent of portraying Ian and Tom being married and having kids on their own at the later stage of their lives while at the same time the latter is still hooking up with Lil. How ridiculous is that.

Perfect Mothers is a complete joke as compared to flicks liked Brokeback Mountain and The Reader, both featuring characters with complicated sexual relationships. As hard as you muster, there’s hardly an ounce of pain or love you feel for the main characters. It remains nothing except being a wonderful shot movie that features powerful performances from Ms Watts and the ex-Mrs Sean Penn.       




The audio is rich with ambient effects, clear dialogue and music tracks. The visual showcases some nice colors and details and looks good enough for the Australia tourism board. 



Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Drama
Starring: Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, Xavier Samuel, James Frecheville, Ben Mendelsohn, Sophie Lowe, Gary Sweet, Jessica Tovey
Director: Anne Fontaine
Rating: M18 (Some Sexual Scenes and Coarse Language)
Year Made: 2013




Languages: English
Subtitles: English/Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0
Running Time:  1 hr 50 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Scorpio East Entertainment