A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.
When Sabine arrives at the door, it is gently snowing and her black coat has some snow on it. Once she enters the house (a different set, her coat no longer has snow on it and the rate of snow, as seen through the window behind her, is at a much faster rate. See more »
[first lines - into video camera]
I remember looking out at the two of you, Tom playing on the dock, you watching. I was thinking how lucky you were to have a mom like her. And how lucky she was to have a boy like you. That's what you stole from me Simon. That's what I can never forgive.
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Atom Egoyan, an Armenian born in Cairo in 1960 and living and working in Canada, is a unique voice among contemporary filmmakers. His films rarely follow a linear structure, electing instead to rely on flashbacks and flash forwards to alert the viewer to respond emotionally to the fragments of story provided - those fragments emphasizing his obsession with alienation and isolation, the by-products of a society homogenized by technology, bureaucracy, and mob rule. His films have collected a wide audience of viewers who prefer to be intellectually challenged rather than be 'entertained': 'Next of Kin', 'Speaking Parts', 'The Adjuster', 'The Sweet Hereafter', 'Felicia's Journey', 'Ararat', 'Where the Truth Lies', 'Chloe', and this little masterpiece, 'ADORATION'.
Young Simon (Devon Bostick) is enthralled with the Internet and creating videos to place on the Internet. His parents died in an automobile accident years ago and he has been raised by his uncle Tom (Scott Speedman), a angry young man who has never married and whose only other family member living is his father Nick (Thomas Hauff) for whom he has little affection. Simon tends to his ill grandfather, videotapes him telling stories about his daughter, Simon's mother Rachel (Rachel Blanchard), swearing that Simon's father Sami (Noam Jenkins) intentionally caused the fatal accident, not unlike a terrorist action. At school Simon takes French from teacher Sabine (Arsinée Khanjian) who encourages Simon's penchant for drama by encouraging a story Simon has created: he postulates that Sami placed explosives in Rachel's bag while pregnant Rachel flew to Israel with the intention of exploding the airplane killing 400 people. Simon takes his developing tale to the Internet chat rooms where the story then leaks out to the parents of the teenagers chatting. The 'news' results in Sabine being fired from her job. Sabine visits Simon and Tom's house disguised by an elegant burka, and encounters the angry Tom who had already had a previous encounter with Sabine over a towed car. The intensity of the make-believe story of Sami being a terrorist creates havoc in the town, between Tom and Simon, and with Simon's relationship to his grandfather. There is a surprise twist to the true background of Simon's parents, Sabine, Tom, and the grandfather and Simon's fictional 'play' opens doors of emotional reaction from Simon's internet chatroom experience and from all of the people involved in the story.
While this 'summary' of the plot is confusing to read, so is the progress of the tale Atom Egoyan has filmed. He intensifies the drama with moments of utter beauty and shared love as well as condemnations from the people who are adversely affected by Simon's concocted 'lie', a falsity perpetrated by his 'accomplice' Sabine. Keeping the action level low, accompanied by the hauntingly beautiful music for solo cello and solo violin by Mychael Danna, and enhanced by the tight cinematography of Paul Sarossy, only makes this little film that much more powerful to observe and digest. As with all of Egoyan's films, it is the afterburn that lingers in the mind of the viewer that drives the power of the work home.
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