A reflection about what makes everyone's life unique, through the story of Noah's family. Noah is an adjuster, having sex with his customers. His wife Hera watches pornographic movies for ... See full summary »
Francis, whose daughter was murdered a few years ago, is always watching Christina dance in the night club Exotica. One night he is dared to touch the girl and ends up being thrown out. He then sends in Thomas to try and find explanations.
A lonely middle-aged catering manager spends all of his time studying tapes of an eccentric TV chef. Meanwhile, a young woman is making her way from Ireland to find her boyfriend, who moved... See full summary »
Karen O'Connor, a young journalist known for her celebrity profiles, is consumed with discovering the truth behind a long-buried incident that affected the lives and careers of showbiz team Vince Collins and Lanny Morris.
Simon, a Toronto high school student, has been raised by his maternal Uncle Tom since Simon's parents, Rachel and Sami, died in a car accident eight years ago. Tom, a tow truck driver, decided to move to the city into Rachel's house and assume the mortgage, something he could ill afford, largely not to disrupt Simon's life, but equally to get away from his and Rachel's father, Morris, an openly bigoted man. That upbringing has made Tom a sullen and angry man. Morris only recently passed away. Rachel and Sami met when she, a violinist, brought her instrument in to be serviced, Sami the repairman. Simon now owns his mother's expensive violin, which Tom would like to sell to help pay the mortgage and Simon's imminent university tuition. One day at school, Simon's French teacher Sabine reads a French newspaper story from several years ago as a translation exercise for the class, the story about a pregnant woman traveling to Israel, her then boyfriend who, unknown to her, planted a bomb in... Written by
In the scene at the end of the film at his grandfather's empty lake house, Simon first unloaded the wooden Christmas figures from his duffel bag onto a pile of firewood on the end of the dock. He then went into his grandfather's workshop and sawed the scroll off of his mother's violin. With his phone, he took a picture of the severed scroll in his hand with the dock in the background, but the wooden Christmas figures now appear in the middle of the dock. See more »
What do you think, can we get a rain check for martyrdom?
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Flawed but ultimately effective and relevant film from Canadian master Egoyan
I'm never going to be the most unbiased observer when it comes to any given Atom Egoyan movie. He is one of my favorite directors and certainly one of the best Canadian directors currently working, and I have enjoyed every one of his films, even the much derided "Where the Truth Lies", which I found to be a tremendously entertaining genre piece.
Still, I was concerned when news of the uninspiring critical response from Cannes came in, and even more concerned when I noticed that the film received several extremely negative reviews, some of them from critics whose tastes match mine. Having now seen "Adoration" at CIFF I'm not going to pretend I can't see where they're coming from- the film is a little preachy, there's bits of acting which are poor, there's a weakness to Egoyan's writing in that he seems to want to touch on every possible viewpoint on the issues being explored here within this running time, and occasionally it comes off as a little desperate.
None of that keeps "Adoration" from being an intensely involving film, and a powerful one as well; a film about prejudices, loss, the power of technology, and the effect of fiction on reality and vice versa will always be topical, but given the actual plot of the film it is particularly relevant to today's world. "Adoration" revolves around Simon (played by Devon Bostick), an orphaned teenager born to a Palestinian father and a white, North American mother, who both died in a car accident when he was a child, and was raised afterwards by his uncle Tom (played brilliantly by Scott Speedman). When Simon writes a story about a terrorist who conceals a bomb inside his pregnant girlfriend's luggage before she boards a plane to Israel and imagines himself as the unborn child that is almost killed by the terrorist bomb (a story which has parallels to his racist and intolerant grandfather's version of the story of how Simon's parents died), his drama and French teacher encourages him to share it with his class, passing it off as truth. What she didn't predict was that Simon would post the story online, creating crazed debates and political agendas. The story doesn't revolve around these discussions, but rather develops from there into a character drama which grows in quality as the film moves forward.
Egoyan does not necessarily hit a home run every time when it comes to his work as a director, but he has never shown incompetence or lack of ability and doesn't do so here. Egoyan's writing, on the other hand, is far more inconsistent and likely to cause issues. As mentioned earlier his writing here is somewhat problematic, but not nearly as bad as certain critics would have you believe. For one, "Adoration" often reminded me of discussion groups I have attended on Islamist terrorism, and the dialogue here, criticized for being artificial and even 'ridiculous' is very true to the sort of dialogue you would get out of a group interested in the topic. The only thing lacking, actually, during the chatroom scenes, was a Muslim voice, which would have only added to the dynamic and realism. Also, as heavy-handed as certain sections are here (though "Crash" makes this film look like the subtlest ever made, so it's not that bad), it's also a film which has a lot to say about human nature and our natural response to the environment we live in and to those surrounding us.
"Adoration" is an effective and intelligent look at topical and relevant issues, but really shines as an examination of the nature of human thought, the results of the sort of environment which surrounds us, where hatred and prejudice is born, and ultimately as a character study of three individuals who all need to overcome events in their past by embracing and fully understanding them.
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