Adoration

Festival film A bleak film held together by performances of heartbreaking simplicity.

It is a bleak film, continually probing people's fascination with becoming the victim and asking why we willingly seek to destroy those around us.
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Adoration, the latest film by the Armenian-Canadian director Atom Egoyan, is the kind of film the MEIFF should be proud to have hosted. Already a winner at the Toronto Film Festival, the film blurs the boundaries between what the viewer thinks they see and what is imagined to the extent that you end up questioning everything you are watching. Devon Bostick plays Simon, a teenager from Toronto orphaned in circumstances unclear from the film's outset. Prompted by his French teacher, played by Arsinee Khanjian, Egoyan's wife, he produces a drama project in which he imagines his late father as a Palestinian activist who sent his pregnant wife onto a plane with a bomb in her bag. Soon, everyone believes him, and he plays along with the ruse, which soon gets out of control, threatening an apocalyptic finale. Adoration is held together by performances of heartbreaking simplicity by both Bostick and Scott Speedman as the uncle prematurely handed the responsibility of raising his nephew. Playing a tow-truck driver struggling with his own guilt and responsibility over his sister's death, Speedman's performance is full of understated depth. It is a bleak film, continually probing people's fascination with becoming the victim and asking why we willingly seek to destroy those around us. But it is let down somewhat by a contrived twist that jars when revealed. Nevertheless it does show how little of the film we should have trusted. Now how about a general release for Adoration in the UAE?