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Directed by Atom Egoyan

After a string of critical flops, Atom Egoyan is back in a big way with the rich and vibrant Adoration, a complex portrait of teenhood, grief and simmering sociopolitical tension. Smart but oddball teen Simon (Devon Bostick) makes an unusual association while translating an article regarding Israeli airport security for an assignment from his French teacher Sabine (Arsinée Khanjian) – he envisions himself as the unborn baby kept in the womb of a woman carrying a bomb intended to obliterate a plane. In this new context, the woman is innocent, the explosive having been planted by the woman’s husband – the unborn “Simon”‘s father. As Simon works through the real-life family tragedy that informed the association, he also inadvertently stirs up a heated debate on the nature of victimhood and the wider ramifications of terrorism. Egoyan’s ear for dialogue is impeccable, the performances are first-rate (particularly Bostick and Scott Speedmann as Simon’s withdrawn but stalwart uncle) and, most importantly, the film is smart enough to evoke a potent mix of issues and emotional responses without pretending it holds the solutions to the complexities at hand.

– Simon Howell

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