Opens: May 8th, 2009
Rated 14A for language.
Atom Egoyan (dir.)
Scott Speedman as Tom
Devon Bostick as Simon
Arsinée Khanjian as Sabine
Noam Jenkins as Sami
Dominic Cuzzocrea as Cab Driver
Katie Boland as Hannah
Rachel Blanchard as Rachel
Kenneth Welsh as Morris
Written By Atom Egoyan
Music By Mychael Danna
Simon (Devon Bostick) examines his mother’s violin on the bus.
Our reviews below:
Adoration Review By John C.
**** (out of 4)
When high-school student Simon (Devon Bostick) is told a story in French class about a man who tried to sneak a bomb on to a plane in his pregnant girlfriend’s luggage, he rewrites the story as if his father was the man and his mother was the woman. When his teacher Sabine (Arsinée Khanjian) hears the story, she convinces him to tell it in class. When word gets out, through different people and a video-internet chat room, Simon continues to tell the story as truth. Adoration is a fascinating study of how far a story has to go before it is seen as the truth, and more importantly how there is truth in every story.
Adoration is an intelligent film, a talkative thriller that requires our smarts and concentration. Don’t get turned down by the fact that you’ll have to pay close attention, we are greatly rewarded for our efforts. While not much physical action happens in Adoration, it is still very exciting, weaving together an interesting story that keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat. With it’s brilliant story and fractured narrative, Adoration is a great Canadian near-masterpiece.
This was nominated for last year’s Palme D’or at the prestigious Cannes film festival, but lost to The Class. This is one the best movies so far this year, and I really hope people will make their way out to go see it.
After the screening I attended there was a Q and A with director Atom Egoyan and the films two stars Arsinée Khanjian and Devon Bostick. Devon Bostick was nice enough to sign my copy of Famous magazine, which also has an interview with actor Scott Speedman, who plays Simon’s uncle, Tom.
Adoration Review By Erin V.
**** (out of 4)
In Adoration, Simon, (Devon Bostick), lives with his uncle, after becoming an orphan as a child. Writing an essay about a man who tries to smuggle a bomb onto an airplane in his pregnant wife’s luggage, he is encouraged by his mysterious French teacher to tell it as though he is the unborn child. When he delivers his speech to his class, his friends start a chat online, and soon the ‘would-have-been’ victims of the foiled plot, (the story he tells was based on an actual article in the news), and his friends start a major discussion about right and wrong with him online.
This film is very intricately woven together, and it explores many questions to which the characters are never really quite sure the answers. While it may be confusing to some on first viewing, I found that by paying attention it is quite watchable. This is not so much a film that is watched for pure entertainment value, (such as something like Star Trek, which also opened this weekend), as it is a movie that requires more thought. I personally enjoy a movie like this as well as something like Star Trek. While they are both movies, they provide a different moviegoing experience, and I suggest that for a nice balance, if you can, go see both during their run in theatres. It’s good to have a balance between what you see.
With great acting by the cast, a perfect score, and a well thought through storyline, I am definitely recommending Adoration. Check your local listings to see if you are lucky enough to have this one playing at a theatre near you. It’s worth it.
Adoration Review By Nicole
**** (out of 4)
What if you told a story, made it your own, and everyone believed it? This is the premise of Adoration, a unique Canadian movie about how one boy’s yarn becomes a sensation. When Simon, an orphan teen living with his uncle Tom, writes an essay about a foiled terror plot involving a husband who snuck a bomb in his pregnant wife’s luggage, Simon writes the essay as if he were the child involved. For some mysterious reason, (which we discover later), his French teacher, Sabine encourages Simon to tell his fictional account as a drama project, so everyone will believe it. The story becomes a hit when Simon spreads the yarn to his friends via web cam. The story spreads like wildfire, and no one can contain it. However, through a series of flashbacks, a filmed interview Simon did with his grandfather, and between Sabine and Tom, we find out what really happened to Simon’s parents. We find that Simon’s tall tale has a grain of truth, albeit in a completely metaphorical way. The story all comes together brilliantly in the end.
I really enjoyed this film. The plot line is compelling, the acting is excellent, and the score by Mychael Danna really fits the mood of the film. (Music plays an important role in the plot line as well.) Despite the fact that some people found this movie confusing, I found this film relatively easy to follow, but would probably be even easier to get on a second viewing. This is one unique film that you should definitely get out to see. ___________________________________________________
Adoration Review By Maureen
***1/2 (out of 4)
Adoration is an intelligent, interesting film by Canadian Atom Egoyan. This is a story about a story that takes on a life of it’s own.
As part of a French class assignment, Simon, (nicely played be Devon Bostick), retells the story of a pregnant woman unwittingly carrying a bomb onto a plane as though he were that unborn child and this was his parent’s true story. Encouraged by his French teacher, who also acts as the drama teacher, Simon builds the story, reading it in class and participating in web chats about the rights and wrongs of what allegedly happened.
The story flashes back and forth between Simon’s life in the present and his childhood. We get to know his parents and his maternal grandfather through the flashbacks. Simon lives with his Uncle Tom, (Scott Speedman), and finds his French/drama teacher Sabine, (Arsinée Khanjian), overly interested in his home life and story. The interactions between the three main characters, Simon, Sabine, and Tom eventually lead to the truth and the title ‘Adoration’ finally makes sense.
This is a well written, well-acted movie. There are enough twists and turns to keep it interesting throughout. The music which is an important part of the storyline is lovely. The violin fits the mood perfectly.
Overall this is a Canadian gem from start to finish. I hope it gets the recognition it deserves.
Adoration Review By Tony
**** (out of 4)
To quote from filmmaker Atom Egoyan’s website synopsis: “Adoration speaks to our connections–with each other, with our family history, with technology and with the modern world.” In 2006 Egoyan read that a would-be terrorist without remorse was up for parole. Twenty years prior a bomb he had planted in the luggage of his pregnant girlfriend was found before she boarded an El Al flight to Israel.
Simon’s (Devon Bostick) French teacher Sabine (Arsinée Khanjian) reads out a French version of the bomb story for her class to translate. As in the story, Simon’s own father Sami (Noam Jenkins) was middle-eastern and his mother Rachel (Rachel Blanchard) Canadian-born (both seen in dreamy flashbacks). They were both killed in a car accident some years prior and Simon lives with her brother Tom (Scott Speedman). Recently on his deathbed their father and Simon’s grandfather (Kenneth Welsh) shared with Simon his resentment of Sami, suggesting the accident may have been a murder-suicide. When Simon translates the French story as if his own parents had been involved, Sabine, also a drama teacher, asks him to play this role with his class to see how it is received. She could not foresee the impact this would have when classroom discussions move onto ichat groups, involving not only students, but survivors of the actual flight, idle speculators and both Holocaust survivors and deniers. How Sabine deals with all this provides some interesting twists. Typically for an Egoyan film, things are much more nuanced than they seem at first.
Adoration moves at a more leisurely pace than many American films, so the attention-challenged may be a bit bored. The rest of us can sit back and enjoy the fine acting all around, the beautiful images notably shot on film (like other films we’ve seen recently, such as The Soloist and Toronto Stories), and the score by Egoyan’s house composer Mychael Danna, his one-man band of keyboards and samples enriched here by some beautiful live strings.
However well it does in commercial sales, as a retired teacher I am sure that Adoration will be well received, along with other recently reviewed films such as À l’Ouest de Pluton, in Reel Canada high school festivals for years to come.
Sabine (Arsinée Khanjian) at the diner.
Consensus: Adoration is a well made film that will definitely warrant a second viewing. Sharp writing, great acting by the cast, and a fitting score make Adoration a piece of art to watch. **** (Out of 4)
Rachel (Rachel Blanchard) is questioned at airport security.