Opening 21 May 2009
High school French teacher Sabine (Arsinée Khanjian) gives her class a translation exercise that has a profound effect on one student. Simon (Devon Bostick) integrates the facts of the newspaper article into his blurred family recollections. An accident resulted in his becoming an orphan, under the care of his fumbling uncle, Tom (Scott Speedman), at an early age. Simon takes his recreated version online with non-startling results: utterly out of context is a “mysterious” woman who appears at their home, but with a second appearance her identity is perceptible: Simon is left to sort out reality from fiction. The film has too many transparent layers. Who adores whom? (Marinell Haegelin)
Director Atom Egoyan successfully uses a multi-layered approach by applying interaction through modern media technology (computer chat rooms) as well as the painful outcomes from those online chat rooms to create a complicated but riveting story line. He produces a film that navigates through feelings of fear, anger and mistrust to explore thoughts on terrorism, prejudices of a religion and ethnic basis which begins in a simple classroom setting where teacher Sabine (Arsinee Khanjian) and student Simon (Devon Bostick) go out of bounds on a school project. Their paths are linked together by the loss of Simon’s parents in a car accident years before, but are just now dealing with the mourning process which takes an unusual route.
Adoration showed at the 2008 Filmfest Hamburg. Director Atom Egoyan was present to accept the Douglas Sirk award, the highest award of this festival. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)