Adoration

2008

Adoration

Critics Consensus

A complex and thought-provoking work, Atom Egoyan's Adoration works well as both mystery and engaging drama.

63%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 102

48%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,182
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Movie Info

Director Atom Egoyan explores the concept of cyberspace as a place for redemption in this drama about an adolescent boy named Simon (Devon Bostick) who reinvents his life on the Internet. Before long, Simon's deeply personal journey provokes strong reactions from around the globe. Rachel Blanchard and Scott Speedman co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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News & Interviews for Adoration

Critic Reviews for Adoration

All Critics (102) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (64) | Rotten (38)

  • Unfortunately the elaborately unspooled plot delivering these ideas in dramatic form is so scraggy and effortful it defeats the cast and rather compromises our involvement.

    Feb 2, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The most positive thing you can say about Atom Egoyan's latest film is that it is well-intentioned. But the most honest thing that you can say is that it's a painfully misguided and pretentious folly.

    Feb 2, 2010 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • A pretty fatuous equivalence, made much more implausible by the clotted structure, some wince-makingly unconvincing scenes and truly terrible acting.

    Feb 2, 2010 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • Atom Egoyan is up to his old tricks with this fractured, elusive drama, resembling but never measuring up to the ones which launched his career.

    Feb 2, 2010 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Populated with rich, complex characters, Adoration's impressive array of ideas is matched by its visual beauty and narrative ingenuity.

    Feb 2, 2010
  • Theme is all-powerful, with characters verbally fondling their histories and identities - and, in one typically po-faced scene, intellectualising vomit.

    Feb 2, 2010 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Adoration

  • Jan 12, 2011
    Adoration is a film written and directed by Atom Egoyan, which of course means that conventional story telling is not in the forcast. Primarily dealing with a high school student, his French (and drama) teacher, his uncle and his grandfather, the film delves into several topics, including race discrimination, religion and religious discrimination, and terrorism. With Egoyan you get a plot line that likes to double back on itself, showing the interconnectivity of people and their reactions. This often makes for a disjointed narrative, and in the case of this film, gives a very surreal tone, as if the time and place of the story are inconsequential - so the foundation on which most films are built is, in this case, a bed of quicksand, shifting in time and for me, never quite giving a feel for where in the world this story was taking place (which, given its subplots, should matter a great deal). Adding further to the surreal tone, and putting distance between the film and the viewer are some incongruities involving money. The uncle and his ward, the student, are suffering some financial difficulties, and yet the student has tons of expensive toys in his room (computers, cameras, electric guitar and amp, etc). Along the same lines, the teacher at some point loses her job, and yet is throwing cash around like she has some kind of trust fund. All of which gives the viewer the feeling that the director was saddled with a script that should have been thought through a bit more - but since Egoyan wrote the script himself, he only has himself to blame for the cardboard feel of the characters and the clumsy introductions to obvious set pieces (where with a good script and direction, these things become seamless). There are some inventive touches on display here, specifically the partial telling of the story through the student's video camera, and the use of an internet chat room to give Egoyan the opportunity to riff about terrorism and the net itself. I found it interesting that Egoyan had the more impassioned dialogue coming from the chat room where people were venting their feelings concerning an abstract topic - as if the caring about theoretical topics was more real than what was going on outside in the real world. I wanted to feel a certain pity for the student's uncle, who ended up being the student's ward, but the acting was very uneven and the script had so many set pieces that weren't fully realized that the only time I really felt for him was when some snooty woman commented that he was "only a tow truck driver"; as if his occupation defined who he was as a person. I also wanted to feel something towards the student, but again, the story line kept getting in the way, as if Egoyan had so many plates spinning on all these varied topics that the characters, instead of being breathing beings were reduced to mouthpieces for the topics, leaving the last third of the film, where truths are revealed and where emotion was supposed to run high, feeling flat and somewhat trite. The final shot, concerning the scroll of a violin was supposed to hold some great emotional weight, but seemed simply a contrivance. Further, the film holds a twist of sorts, (more of a surprise revelation), which was presented as meekly as the supporting argument for the twist's plausibility. I admire the writer/director attempting to say something relevent and attempting to say it in a non-formula way, but the end result is that the film fails for those same reasons.
    paul s Super Reviewer
  • Sep 03, 2010
    the first hour was interesting and dident really know where it was heading, but i felt it lost it a bit towards end, even though there was interesting topical stuff being brought up
    scott g Super Reviewer
  • Apr 25, 2010
    Atom Egoyan goes back to his filmmaking trademarks in "Adoration" The story of a high school French teacher reads to her class a report of a terrorist who planted a bomb in the airline luggage of his pregnant girlfriend. The teacher's student named Simon(Devon Bostick) imagines the story as his own parents story. Sabine(Arsinee Khanjian) asks Simon to develop the story as a drama exercise, to read it to the class, and for dramatic effect to pretend that it really happened. He does so which draws in consequences... In his presentation to the class, Simon says that he is the unborn child, his mother was the innocent being led to her demise, and his father was the killer out to murder 400 innocent people to promote a cause. The only problem with the story is that it is not true. The incident never happened. The film exposes the ease with which people are willing to accept what they are told without question and how modern technology has become a useful tool for those eager to disseminate falsehood. According to the director, the film is "about people dealing with absences. He (Simon) imagines having a father who is a demon; he wants to go as far as possible into what that might mean." Adoration begins with an indelible image - a young woman standing at the end of a pier overlooking a river playing the violin while her husband and young son watch in awe. Moving forward and backward in time with great ease, the film slowly constructs the events which have led to Simon's school confessional. The key player is Simon's French teacher Sabine (Arsinée Khanjian) whose own family was killed in Lebanon by a terrorist attack. Sabine reads an article to the class about an incident that occurred in 1986 in which a Jordanian man, Nezar Hindawi, sent his pregnant Irish girlfriend on an El Al flight with a bomb in her handbag, of which she had no knowledge until it was discovered by Israeli airport security. Heavily influenced by his bigoted grandfather Morris (Kenneth Walsh) to believe that his father intentionally caused his mother's death in a car crash, the vulnerable Simon constructs a parallel between the article read by his French teacher and the death of his parents. On his own, Simon posts his fake story on the Internet and has to deal with emotional responses from holocaust victims, holocaust deniers, students, and professors talking about terrorism, martyrdom, and heroism. It is a discussion that often sinks to the level of victimization as portrayed by veteran actor Maury Chaykin who blames the bogus airplane incident for "ruining" his life. Simon's uncle, Tom (Scott Speedman), who raised the boy after his parents' death, acts as a mediator between his nephew and the teacher who encourages Simon to tell his fake story in the school auditorium. Tom is a tow truck operator with a short fuse who harbors a deep resentment against his father for the way he was treated as a child and his encounters with Sabine contain some of the film's most intense moments. Aided by a tenderly evocative violin-prominent soundtrack by Mychael Danna, Adoration is an intelligent and imaginative study of family conflict and reconciliation that serves as a compelling probe into human behavior and the ability to distinguish between fact and fiction. Though it contains a great deal of ambiguity and character motivations tend to be somewhat mystifying, Adoration is a very involving film with performances that are uniformly excellent, particularly Arsinee Khanjian as the emotionally-damaged teacher and Speedman and Bostock who provide enough tension to keep us riveted throughout. Egoyan who is known to use the non-linear approach in past movies(Exotica, The Sweet Hereafter) he does so here but this time the effect can be a little confusing. Sometimes I had to double back just to make sure I got the tangled premise, but that isn't to say "Adoration" is a bad picture. Egoyan took me on for a ride and I felt connected with the characters since they suffer from alienation and isolation. The cast does a wonderful job, the visuals is spectacular, and once again it's good to see Egoyan going back to his filmmaking roots.
    Brian R Super Reviewer
  • Jan 12, 2010
    It doesn't happen very often, but I must sadly add this to my Walter-inspired Movies I Can't Watch All the Way Through list. Borating painful. Like hip replacement surgery -- although I did go through that all the way. Twice. <p> Hey, Roger Ebert, aloha! I know you're not a writer, so I got a little piece of insight for you. The reason why it appears to be such a tangled web is because the writing sucks. The overall script writing is as lousy as the kid's precious composition writing. It's a meta thing. And don't even get me started on the the acting and the directing. Borat me. <p> Don't mention it, Roger. Glad to help you out.
    Lanning : Super Reviewer

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