Imagine the Lonely Island video “Motherlover” as a sun-drenched literary drama, and you have the basic premise of Anne Fontaine‘s new film Two Mothers. Naomi Watts and Robin Wright star as two childhood pals living side-by-side on a gorgeous Australian beach, along with their strapping sons Ian (Xavier Samuel) and Tom (James Frecheville). Their lives are idyllic but lonely, and it’s not long before the two women begin eyeing each other’s sons with something more than motherly affection.

There’s obvious potential for serious sleaze, but the film has some classy pedigree behind it. It’s an adaptation of a novella by Nobel laureate Doris Lessing, and Fontaine approaches the material with an elegant eye. Toss in two acclaimed actresses, and, well… it still looks kind of trashy, but it could also be genuinely moving and thought-provoking. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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