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Director Atom Egoyan explores the concept of cyberspace as a place for redemption in this drama about an adolescent boy named Simon who reinvents his life on the internet. Before long, Simon's deeply personal journey provokes strong reactions from around the globe.

January 01, 2008

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Reviewed by mutuel

At The Movies

Adoration (PG) * * * *

Twist of Fate!


Life can have its ups and downs. Cairo-born Canadian raised filmmaker Atom Egoyan continues to dazzle with the ability of creating unique stories. Apart from directing Egoyan comes of age as a first class writer thanks to the twists and turns evident in Adoration, a keep you guessing film from E1 and AMPR well worth the effort to investigate at the 5th Avenue Cinemas.

Things are not necessarily how they appear at first blush. Through flashbacks and political machinations we encounter the lives of some rather unique individuals. From a tranquil country setting to the hustle and bustle of big city life we go to meet up with young Simon. Born to a loving mom and dad tragedy has struck this lad early on. Today he is busy trying to cope with school which can be trying to the most savvy teen.

One class project, in particular, manages to catch everyone off guard. A simple oral recital to an understanding teacher sets of a chain of events sure to make people question their own attitude on a host of issues. Back at home Simon lives with uncle Tom, a working class guy trying to make sense of the new attitude his nephew seems to be revealing, along with a message that apparently has caught on with his circle of friends.

Unfortunate things can happen when ones words get misconstrued and in Adoration we seize on a number of issues confronting Simon, his uncle and others in this high tech age. Cast as the teacher Samine with an interest in the young man is Arsinee Khanjian (Where the Truth Lies) who pulls of a tricky role as a foreigner trying to “fit in” to western ways. Come to think of it, there are lots of social and political issues raised in Adoration which also takes a side trip down the road to question people on their degree of tolerance or bigotry.

Young people will be able to identify with the plight of Simon who has a habit of raising the ante when dealing with his past and family. Devon Bostiek (Fugitive Pieces) is rock solid as the conflicted kid whose own motives come into question while good old Uncle Tom does what he can to get by under the vestige of Scott Speedman (Underworld).

Shocks on public perceptions and even paranoia go for the jugular in this smart 100 minute movie that deftly looks at some complicated, convoluted issues concerning censorship, religion and the pursuit of happiness.

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