Reason unmoored . . .
Ronald Scheer | Los Angeles | 11/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From first frame to last, I had no idea what was going to come next in this thought-provoking film from Canada. Others here may attempt to sum up the plot, but the dream-like, stream of conscious connections that lead from one scene to the next are what I found fascinating. The movement is back and forth in time, until it's hardly clear what the "present" is, while one assumption after another about characters and their motivations is turned on its head. What you think is true turns out to be only sort of so, and each revelation pulls you in even farther.
This is a movie for grown-ups, asking questions about the post-9/11 world we live in and wanting us to make sense of the fear and confusion around terrorism. Characters are not totally clear cut. A schoolboy, his teacher, his uncle, his grandfather, and his dead parents all draw our sympathy at times and then behave in ways that make us question their judgment.
Meanwhile, as a story about the boys' parents, which may or may not be true, explodes into chat rooms on the Internet, it ignites a fury of public discourse that takes on a manic life of its own. The social environment, as mediated by digital technology, becomes a kind of Bedlam, where reason becomes completely unmoored. Without giving too much away, the film finally finds a small respite of calm for its characters to regard each other with a degree of trust, while paranoia and pandemonium rage on around them. Well worth watching, "Adoration" portrays challenging ideas about the world we live in and argues for a measure of sanity to be found in connections between people who have little in common but their need to be at peace with each other."
H. Schneider | window seat | 12/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am new to this (Canadian?) director's work, so I can't compare this movie to his previous ones. I don't know if it is better or not, but I do know that it is quite good enough to be worth my time.
A high school student is encouraged by his French teacher (who also does the Drama group) to enact and develop a scenario, which is based in a true story, as if it was his own: the boy's (Palestinian?) father had put explosives into his mother's travel bag on a plane to Israel, while she was pregnant with the boy. The bomb had not exploded. The boy, Simon, reads `his story' to his class and then on the net.
The `drama' grows out of hand and proliferates in chat rooms. Simon lives with the fiction and makes wild statements. He gets feedback from people who were on the real plane that had been supposed to blow up. He is called by Neo- Nazis who proudly parade their Holocaust denial tattooed on their skin. He is called by a young woman who makes her grandmother show her camp number tattoo on her forearm. Young people debate the theory of terrorism.
In real life Simon lives with his uncle. His parents had died in a car accident. The grandfather had not been happy with his blond violinist daughter marrying a dark foreigner (a Lebanese?). To Simon, he calls his father a `killer'.
There is a real dimension of mystery. We do not know how much of the wild story is true. That's why any review must stay away from being too explicit with the plot.
The narration is slow, maybe slower than necessary. There are flashbacks and sidesteps.
Simon is the center, but more and more, his teacher moves into focus. She turns out to be more involved than expected.
If you want a simple tale moving from A to B with a clear message, this is not for you. If you can stand coming out of it without the feeling that you have been told how the world works, then you may appreciate the contemplative pace of this movie.
Another Egoyan masterpiece
Bert Munro Mccarthy | Reno, Nevada | 11/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"By now I fully expect that every new Egoyan film will be a masterpiece. He is sort of like Shakespeare in this regard. This film is riveting to the point that I was literally hanging on every word in every scene. Egoyan writes his own films and then produces and directs them. It is his writing which is so superb, so consistently superb, from one film to the next. His actors pick up on the nuances and the finished product is pretty much always nothing less than astonishing. Certainly Egoyan's last seven or so films fit this description.
The film is reminiscent of "Ararat" with the long interrogation at the airport. It is like "Exotica" with the unfoldment of rather intricate relationships. And all the main characters and most of the minor characters exhibit an intensity that is quite palpable and keeps reminding me that Egoyan has, of course, done it again. If you have not seen some of his other films, you are in for a very special set of experiences indeed. In my humble opinion he stands alone at the top of his craft."