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

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

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.