Adoration

"OK"

Adoration Review


About halfway through Atom Egoyan's 12th feature, Adoration, a woman wearing a mask of black cloth and silver jewelry asks a man about a nativity scene he is putting up in his front lawn and eventually begins to prod him about the Israel-Palestine conflict. He asks her to keep walking and she does but comes back later to discuss the same thing with even more assuredness. It feels like a fever dream, both to the man and to the viewer.

How we perceive reality, whether in art, history, or technology, has been the monkey on the back of several directors, but none have seemed as seduced by the conundrum as Mr. Egoyan has been for the last two decades. The woman with the mask is Sabine (Arsinée Khanjian), a teacher who we meet early in the film and who has become entangled in quite the imbroglio with her student Simon (Devon Bostick). Together, Simon and Sabine have engineered a false identity for Simon, casting him as the son of a terrorist who attempted to blow up a plane heading to Israel by hiding a bomb in his wife's luggage. Simon uses the identity in a presentation to his classmates, who take it as gospel, and soon enough, he is the focus of international news. But, in reality, Simon's parents died in a car accident, leaving Uncle Tom (a very good Scott Speedman) as the young man's sole guardian.

The timeline of Adoration has been chopped and minced, sending an already complex and thick narrative into hyperdrive. The story itself is relatively simple but, as always, Egoyan stresses motives and deep-held emotions that render the film into a Rubik's Cube of personas and manufactured histories. The ideas that Egoyan is playing with here are fascinating, but the way they are presented and conceptualized is overbearing and muddled, which causes the film to feel laborious and earnestly weighty. The discussions Adoration will spark are far more interesting than the film itself.

Whatever its flaws, Adoration is certainly Egoyan's strongest work since his masterful adaptation of Russell Banks' The Sweet Hereafter. There are still moments here of genuine befuddlement, such as when a scorned cab driver threatens Sabine and Tom during lunch, and there's a very real, strange intrigue to the way Egoyan and his regular cinematographer Paul Sarossy shoot Simon's exchanges with a screen full of opinions in his high-tech video chats. Perhaps it is because the film is so openly topical that I didn't feel the same hypnotic pull that I did when I first saw Exotica or The Adjuster. Maybe by embracing a conflict that is obviously very personal to him, as he did in Ararat, Egoyan finds himself unable to walk in his own hall of mirrors again.

Who needs a hug?



Adoration

Facts and Figures

Run time: 100 mins

In Theaters: Friday 24th April 2009

Box Office USA: $93.5k

Budget: $4.7M

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Classics

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 61%
Fresh: 60 Rotten: 38

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Simone Urdl, Jennifer Weiss

Starring: as Simon, as Rachel, Louca Tassone as Young Simon, as Morris, Yuval Daniel as Security Officer, as Tom, Jeremy Wright as Delivery Guy, as Sabine

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

Advertisement
The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Subtitled Salazar's Revenge in the UK, this fifth film in the long-running series never quite...

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.