Tagline: You can't always run from your past.
Synopsis: Sabine (Arsinee Khanjian), a high school French teacher, gives her class a translation exercise based on a real news story about a terrorist who plants a bomb in the airline luggage of his pregnant girlfriend. The assignment has a profound effect on one student, Simon (Devon Bostik), who lives with his uncle (Scott Speedman). In the course of translating, Simon re-imagines that the news item is his own family's story, with the terrorist standing in for his father. Years ago, Simon's father (Noam Jenkins) crashed the family car, killing both himself and his wife (Rachel Blanchard), making Simon an orphan. Simon has always feared that the accident was intentional. Simon reads his version to the class and then takes it to the Internet. In essence, he has created a false identity which allows him to probe his family secret. As Simon uses his new persona to journey deeper into his past, the public reaction is swift and strong. Then an exotic woman reveals her true identity. The truth about Simon's family emerges. The mystery is solved and a new family is formed. [Synopsis courtesy of Sony Classics]
Round-up: "Adoration" opens to mixed reviews with some critics hailing it as a provocative and intellectually challenging examination of social media and others complaining that the big ideas Egoyan takes on makes for an overly-intellectualized, sometimes pretentious film. The New York Times' Stephen Holden belongs to the former camp, writing: "A profound and provocative exploration of cultural inheritance, communications technology and the roots and morality of terrorism, the Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan nimbly wades into an ideological minefield without detonating an explosion." Taking the middle road is The Village Voice's Scott Foundas who says, "Never short on ambition, 'Adoration' has no lack of interesting things to say or interesting ways to say them, but the longer it runs, the more you feel Egoyan working up a sweat to deploy the same effects—Pinterian abstractions, fractured timelines, shifting points of view—that he once made seem effortless. The end result is a movie considerably more absorbing to talk, write, and think about afterward than it is to actually watch." Finally, in his review for indieWIRE, Jeff Reichert calls it "a dickless 'Leave Her to Heaven' with a degree in media studies. Compulsive in his inability to abandon his 'core concerns'—those things that auteurs are generally required to repeatedly insert into their films, whatever the cost to watchable dramaturgy, which here include screens within screens, the distancing, seductive pull of technology, and the shiftiness of identity—Egoyan clutters a generally workable mystery with the deadly weight of dusty concepts." Most critics seem to agree, however, that Egoyan is wrestling with provocative ideas and even the film's detractors view it, at worst, as an interesting failure.