With its stilted dialogue and contrived plot revelations, this 2008 film by French Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan (the first of two films by Egoyan released in Scotland this fortnight) would seem to indicate a filmmaker who has lost his form. Yet Egoyan (Calendar, Exotica) has always been a great ideas man, utilising story to investigate theme, with the story sitting on top of a sense of enquiry often more fascinating than any plot twist or story turn.
In Adoration a high school kid in Canada claims that before he was born his Middle-Eastern father put his pregnant mum on a plane to Israel with explosives in her luggage, but they were luckily found by customs. Is Simon (Devon Bostick) telling the truth, or is this the boy running with an idea of his own, creating a fiction around his parents’ actual death? And how much is his teacher (Arsinee Khanjian) behind this, a mysterious Muslim who we also find out is the same woman, veiled, going to Simon and his uncle’s house asking questions about bigotry and forgiveness?
Egoyan gives us plenty food for thought. This is thematic protein over narrative carbohydrate; and consequently a film that lingers nicely, no matter the occasional weaknesses along the way.
GFT, Glasgow on Mon 15 and Tue 16 Mar and selected release.