Sundance: Naomi Watts and falling in love with the strong women of ‘Two Mothers’
The description of “Two Mothers,” makes the film sound like a juicy scandal: Two lifelong friends fall in love with each other’s teenage sons. But Academy Award nominee Naomi Watts, who plays one of the mothers in the film, didn’t want to talk about her character’s moral dilemma.
“I’m making films because of the interesting material and if it’s slightly uncomfortable for people that’s understandable. It’s not for everybody but it happens in life in different places all over the world,” said Watts on the red-carpet premiere Friday night at the Eccles Theatre.
Watts co-stars in the film with Robin Wright, who wasn’t in attendance. Demure and softly-spoken, Naomi Watts radiated on the red carpet, but avoided questions relating to her personal life. Nor did she care to enlighten interviewers on how she would feel as a mother if her real-life best friend fell for her son. Instead, Watts stuck to the textbook answers.
She did, however, light up when comments were made regarding the emergence — and strong performances —of female actors among this year’s Sundance slate, expected to be one of the strongest years yet for women in the festival’s history. Watts comfortably embraced these comments, underscoring the film’s strong female roles as motivation for why she took on such a controversial role. “I was drawn to the material because these fantastic female characters are wonderfully complicated,” she said.
In a one-line summary, the movie might be summarized as a controversial morality tale, but Watts said the movie is more about “wonderful relationships.”
“These women, who are about to experience an empty nest, and how they need each other and depend on one another. Something happens and it keeps happening and they find a way to forgive each other because there is such a strong loving connection. It’s not about the sex. It’s about these very, very deep relationships,” Watts said.
Xavier Samuel, who plays Watts’ son in the film, claims to play “…the most emotional of the four” characters, and he dismissed the social stigmas against age differences in relationships.
“I think if you’re in love with someone, you’re in love with someone,” Samuel said. “It seems like a strange kind of thing that society has enforced. It’s strange that the stigma doesn’t go the other way. I think it’s good to be involved in a film that tackles that issue in particular and does so in a French way.”