Perfect Mothers, broadcast on Chérie 25, is inspired by a novel by Doris Lessing, “Les Grands Mothers”. This novel is based on a true story.
Chérie 25 is tonight airing Perfect Mothers, Anne Fontaine’s first English-language film, released in 2013, starring Naomi Watts and Robin Wright in the lead roles.
The film follows Lil and Roz, two childhood friends, living in perfect harmony, without their husbands, with their two young boys. Inexplicably, each draws closer to the other’s son, forming a passionate relationship with him. Out of sight, in an almost supernatural seaside Eden, the quartet will live an extraordinary story until age comes to put an end to the disorder. In appearance, at least …
The film is adapted from Grandmothers, novel by Doris Lessing (winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature), based on an idea by producer Dominique Besnehard who introduced the book to Anne Fontaine, immediately won over.
The filmmaker sees it as an opportunity to go beyond the theme of triangulation so common to her previous films (Dry cleaning, Nathalie …). Co-written and adapted with screenwriter Christopher Hampton, Perfect Mothers presents some differences with the original material: Anne Fontaine, for example, has reduced the age of the main protagonists, and ousted from her story the grandchildren they had in the novel.
From a true story
When her film project was in its infancy, Anne Fontaine traveled to London to meet Doris Lessing, author of the original novel. Once there, the latter explained to him that her inspiration came from a story that a drunken Australian boy had told her in the darkness of a bar.
Friend of heroes, he had lived as an external witness the love story of his two friends with their respective mothers. The two women had grown up together in an almost homosexual relationship, and then had this bond with their sons.
The young Australian would have felt a terrible jealousy towards his two friends, judging their relations idyllic. Anne Fontaine wanted each of the spectators to find themselves in the place of the young Australian: sufficiently captivated by the story to transcend the moral point of view.
Recall that originally, Anne Fontaine wanted to entrust one of the two female roles to Julianne Moore (who also plays in Chloe, the American remake of Nathalie …), but she finally had to withdraw from the project and make way for Robin Wright.
Our meeting with the Perfect Mothers team