Films & Schedules

  • Adoration

  • Atom Egoyan

101 minutes

Production Company:
Ego Film Arts
Executive Producer:
Robert Lantos, Michele Halberstadt, Laurent Petin
Atom Egoyan, Simone Urdl, Jennifer Weiss
Atom Egoyan
Production Designer:
Phillip Barker
Paul Sarossy
Susan Shipton
Steve Munro
Mychael Danna
Principal Cast: Arsinée Khanjian, Scott Speedman, Rachel Blanchard, Noam Jenkins, Devon Bostick

Canadian Distributor:
Seville Pictures/Maximum Films
US Distributor:
Sony Pictures Classics
International Sales Agent:
Maximum Films International

Monday September 0806:00PM VISA SCREENING ROOM (ELGIN) Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Wednesday September 1012:45PM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 1 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Each new Atom Egoyan film invites reflection, but Adoration provokes new debates, furthering the themes of his nearly twenty-five-year body of work. Urgent, elegant and simmering with ideas, this is a fugue for our age of terror and shifting identities.

When his high-school French class is asked to translate a news article about a terrorist who planted a bomb in his pregnant girlfriend's luggage, Simon (Devon Bostick) starts digging into his own family's murky past. His resulting claims about the deaths of his father Sami (Noam Jenkins) and mother Rachel (Rachel Blanchard) stir up a storm that splashes over the edges of his own life and into communities both local and virtual. Bringing full teenaged confusion and self-righteousness to the crisis he helped create, Simon lives with his well-meaning, struggling uncle Tom (Scott Speedman), but increasingly shuts him out, opening up instead to his mysterious French teacher Sabine (Arsinée Khanjian).

With Adoration, his twelfth feature, Egoyan lays out themes of technology, terrorism and fear, using them as a composer employs sections of an orchestra, bringing different tones and textures to the fore and into conversation with one another. In one bravura sequence, an online community exchanges opinions about violence and victimhood, its many faces and voices mingling in a searing chorus of pain. Years after Family Viewing, Speaking Parts and The Sweet Hereafter, this Canadian master has returned to explore the fractured ground of human communication and self-presentation, but with a cinematic language that has grown even richer.

The actors imbue Egoyan's characters with an engaging vitality, lending them both distinct individuality and allegorical weight. Blanchard is by terms luminous and tragic as a woman reckoning with disillusion, and Speedman matures into a subtle, bristling talent. Bostick is perfect as the laconic adolescent man determined to make his own decisions about his youthful innocence. Khanjian, expert with Egoyan's words, is suitably provocative. Adoration shows Egoyan grappling with how to live amidst fear and uncertainty. It stands among his very best work.

Cameron Bailey

Atom Egoyan was born in Cairo and raised in Victoria, British Columbia. He studied international relations and classical guitar at the University of Toronto. In addition to filmmaking, he has created works for the theatre and for interdisciplinary art installations, including his piece Auroras, which was part of the 2007 Luminato Festival in Toronto. His films, many of which have received several of the cinema's most prestigious awards, are Next of Kin (84), Family Viewing (87), Speaking Parts (89), The Adjuster (91), Calendar (93), Exotica (94), The Sweet Hereafter (97), Felicia's Journey (99), Krapp's Last Tape (00), Ararat (02), Where the Truth Lies (05) and Adoration (08).

Cadillac People's Choice Award