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CAN: Adoration

05.23.2008

ADORATION

Directed by: Atom Egoyan
Starring: Devan Bostick, Scott Speedman

PLOT: I had headaches watching this film; here’s come another one to explain its plot. Prompted by his teacher to write a fictional story about his parents, an orphan kid (Bostick) looked after by his uncle (played Scott Speedman’s beard), is launched into a quest, one that has to do with his mommy’s violin, the lies in his story that he embraces and then spreads via the internet as fact. Bugh. You see this face? Of course you can’t – its one of a BORED man.

CRITIQUE: I never got into ATOM EGOYAN’s work much. I mean let’s face it, he’s the only dude who set a film in a strip club (Exotica) and managed to make it boring, pretentious and un-sexy. So I won’t lie, I dragged my feet… DRAGGED THEM… when I had to go see ADORATION at Cannes today. Now do keep in mind two things: 1- The French LOVED IT!. 2: This is NOT my kind of movie, so this opinion is coming from that point of view, a guy who doesn’t care for pompous, long winded, existential, poor me/boo-oo drivel. Do with that what you will.

I’ll give the ADORATION this; it moved at an even pace, sported some decent acting and visuals that screamed Hitchcock in terms of mood and shots. And thank god for the presence of Scott Speedman in the film. Not only did his impeccable beard own the scenery and often out-acted the others but he was pretty much the only character that spoke like a regular human being hence I could relate and actually care for him. I guess Speedman had "speaking normally" in his contract. Good for you Speedman don’t take any shit!

Now don’t get me wrong, Egoyan is a talented director – I just don’t care for the scripts of his films. And there was the rub. The overly “dramatic for the sakes of it” story at hand and the somewhat dizzying way (i.e. back and forth in time) it was told to me turned me off. Furthermore, I was expected to care for these people and their plight? COME ON! Why did everybody talk like they just came out of Snob School ? Damn, even the teens in this flick spoke eloquently and in high brow fashion. I guess Toronto, where the film was shot and set in (Enough CN tower shots for ya? Sheesh!) changed dramatically since l last went there (a month ago). Teens swear and have lousy grammar there too! The teens here didn't sell me as "real".

Then we had the leads’ journey. Maybe it would’ve had some impact on me if it didn’t reek of been there done that way too many times within Egoyan’s repertoire and the art house scene in general. Hey kid, get over it, your parents are gone, its just a violin, grow up, get a job, get a girlfriend and move on! Live my life for day man, at least you OWN a violin! To make matters worse the YAWN bigotry/racism subplot didn't do much if anything for me, because eh, again, been there done that... TOO MANY TIMES! Finally, the blatantly manipulative score insulted me. Its going to take more than :”cry cry for me” violin music to make me feel, give me characters that bathe, have heart, a spine and that speak like regular human beings, try that then maybe you’ll get me to care.

Look, in all fairness, it wasn’t an awful film. Just not my kind of film (too high brow) and derivative for it to stand tall and proud on its own. If Led Zeppelin were to record variations on Stairway to Heaven and then try to pass them off as original material – they’d be pretty damn close to what Egoyan has done with this film. NOTE: Why does Canadian cinema have to either be about fart jokes or essays in the self-pity and morose – do something else already! It got old in the 90’s!

Rating: 4/10

Source: JoBlo.com

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