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Released: 2008

Genre: Drama

Runtime: 1 hr 52 min

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Atom Egoyan

Starring: Scott Speedman, Rachel Blanchard, Kenneth Welsh, Devon Bostick, Aaron Poole, Dominic Cuzzocrea, Katie Boland, Noam Jenkins, Arsinee Khanjian

A class assignment leads to a revelation.

A minimalist tale told beautifully.

Review by: SteveRhodes

Added: 8 years ago

Writer and director Atom Egoyan is a cinematic master at creating incredibly sad and affecting tone poems to life's morose moments. He has never created anything as brilliant as his forever memorable THE SWEET HEREAFTER, a mesmerizing examination of the tragic results of a bus crash on the inhabitants of a small town.

Egoyan's latest story is a minimalist tale told beautifully but sure to put some to sleep with its deliberately dreamy pacing and hauntingly beautiful violin music, played by the lead character's mother.

Simple on a surface level but complex in its full meaning and import, the plot concerns a translation assignment given by Sabine (Arsinee Khanjian). Sabine, who teaches both high school French and drama, reads her French class the story of a thwarted bombing attempt. This newspaper article in French from many years ago concerns a pregnant woman who was conned by her fiancé into attempting to bring a bomb aboard an Israeli airline. The class's assignment is to translate the story into English, as she reads it to the class.

The big surprise comes when Simon (Devon Bostick), one of the teacher's students, says in shock and horror that the story is actually about his parents. In a movie in which nothing is quite what it seems -- or is it? -- the boy's intentions aren't at all obvious.

The teacher invites Simon to tell his story to the class. As he weaves his fantastical tale of woe, he appears to be presenting fiction as fact, but maybe he isn't. Maybe his story is true. Or maybe he is embellishing truth into fiction masquerading as fact. One's head starts to spin imagining the possibilities.

At any rate, his story goes viral on the Internet with people in several multi-person video chat rooms arguing about what his father did. As the student and the teacher lose control of the events, it appears that she could be fired.

Actually, the details of the story become increasingly irrelevant. ADORATION is best savored by suspending all disbelief and just immersing oneself into its great sense of mood. It is a movie more to be experienced than analyzed.

ADORATION runs 1:52. It is rated R for "sexuality and some language" and would be acceptable for teenagers.