Saturday, 14 November 2015

Film Report: The Adored (2012)

The Adored (2012)
Produced and Directed by Amarjeet Singh and Carl Medland / Written by Jody Medland

Depressed fashion model Maia (Ione Butler), in need of some confidence after a career break, employs professional photographer Francesca (Laura Martin-Simpson) to take some stylish photos of her to help her discover the woman she has now become after a rocky period in her marriage which has been tainted with personal tragedy.  Frankie takes the somewhat shy Maia to the North Wales coast where she lives by herself in a large isolated house.  Frankie is effortlessly confident and smart and fosters an ambiance in which Maia can feel at ease and show to the camera the side of herself that she has kept hidden.  With the professional work done Francesca invites Maia to stay on for a few days to relax.  Maia thinks Fran is the most together person she has ever met who has everything she wants, little knowing that Fran's self-assured exterior masks an obsessive insecure personality that harbours a secret longing and is engineering a stealthy seduction of her unsuspecting guest under cover of companionable friendship.  Will Maia succumb to Frankie's predatory desires and what will be unleashed if she spurns her?

The Adored is a UK lesbian-themed drama with an intriguing edge which is mainly a two hander between Laura Martin-Simpson and Ione Butler.  Their scenes are interspersed with occasional scenes of a troubled man with anger management issues in session with a woman psychiatrist, which at first seems to be unconnected to the main characters' story, although eventually all becomes clear.

Laura Martin-Simpson has been in a couple of UK films and has had BBC TV appearances in Holby City and Ashes to Ashes. Ione Butler who plays Maia has moved her career to the USA and has most recently appeared in an episode of CSI: Cyber.  Also in the film is Jake Maskall as the therapy patient who is familiar from TV as Danny in Eastenders (2004-2006) and more recently in the American TV series The Royals.

The film was shot on location in Tan-yr-Allt in Gwynedd, North West Wales at a former home of romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.  This is mentioned in the dialogue by Frankie although it has no particular bearing on the plot.  The exteriors show Shelley's house which has a plaque bearing his name and by the looks of it the interiors are on location too.  In real life the house is now a hotel.

Former home of Percy Bysshe Shelley, as seen in the film

The film has a soundtrack and a live on-screen performance (as a pub performer) by a singer who is (incorrectly?) billed as "Peaches" in the end credits.  However this is not the Canadian singer known by that name, but a British singer songwriter who is more properly called just "Peach".

(above) Peach as she appears in the film

Both of the lead actresses, Laura Martin-Simpson (Frankie) and Ione Butler (Maia), have topless nudity.
  • Firstly, during the photoshoot Maia doesn't feel confident enough to follow Frankie's direction to remove her top for some sultry shots, so Fran heartily whips her own top off to show her how easy it is (Maia does take her top off after that but her poses remain unrevealing)
  • Frankie is next seen topless in the bath bearing over Maia after a successful seduction.  Maia is very briefly seen topless too when she hears something that spooks her and sits up in alarm.
  • In the third and final scene, Maia comes to Frankie's bedroom after a mini-falling out and initiates another encounter - in this sex scene both are seen topless.

Laura Martin-Simpson

Ione Butler

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