Adoration is a coming of age love story told in a very visionary way. Is every love story a little like a dream?
The love story I am portraying in this film is an absolute extreme. It takes a lot of compassion and kindness to take love to such crazy extremes, the way they love each other, especially the way Paul (Thomas Gioria) loves Gloria (Fantine Harduin). It could be a dream; the movie is very dream-like. It starts from a very realistic state and slowly drifts into a kind of very sweet world, and then develops into a very strange and vivid dream.
How important was it to find the right chemistry between the two protagonists? And to cast the right actors for the roles?
It was essential, especially in this kind of film because it's very edgy and could quickly turn to the absurd, so you have to commit to the characters. We had a very tight shoot, and we pushed each other to the limits, there was that great collaboration between all of us. And their commitment to the roles they played was a very high-level commitment. I always told them that their characters were their responsibility, and they understood. And I never talked to them as kids. We really made this movie together, because we had the same need to tell this story and every aspect of it, them as a couple, their emotions, their age and the way they love.
Another great way to look at your film is that it portrays the devastating effects of falling in love for the first time. Do you agree?
When you fall in love for the first time it's massive, that's the heart and soul of the film, it's how falling in love for the first time can be a devastating event. When we get older we learn how to temper our feelings and emotions, but the first time it happens it's something new, like being possessed, something in you that changes your life, the way you look at things, places, and - you simply can't go back; ever.
You shot in the Ardennes but it could be anywhere. We can't recognize any location and this makes the story even more universal. Was this a conscious choice?
I don't care about geography, I am just very focused on emotions, I want to make films like a poet, without sounding pretentious when I say this. I want to give you the impression of being in a dream, a sensual dream with taste and scent; a very lucid dream.