Posted by schnolis on May 27th, 2009 filed in Reviews

ADORATIONSimon (Devon Bostick) takes on an interesting assignment in class. His teacher Sabine (Arsinée Khanjian) has asked their class to translate a story read aloud in French. It is a newspaper article about a failed plan to blow up a jet headed from Canada to Israel, motivated apparently by religious bigotry. Simon, moved by the story, translates it from his own perspective if he were the unborn child of the woman discovered to be carrying the bomb. When his teacher asks him to expand on the story, to create a artistic theater piece, she hopes to challenge Simon and his class to contemplate the difficult story from an unnatural perspective. A firestorm erups when Simon’s controversial fabrication reaches the community.

Simon’s mother and father died in a car accident when he was young. His 22-year-old uncle Tom (Scott Speedman) took over the responsibility and burden of raising Simon. They get along okay, but lack the deeper relationship one usually has with a parent. The school assignment together with the death of his grandfather bring into focus the ideological beliefs of Simon’s family. They’re Christian of some kind. We come to realize that his Simon’s father, a Muslim, and grandfather fought over religious ideas, disagreeing fundamentally on whether a non-Christian could even be a good person. Simon grapples with this grief and how his life has been shaped by such beliefs.

Adoration forces us to take a serious look at the things we believe and what impact that can have on the people around us. Most of the time our views of what is right and wrong has very little impact outside our immediate circle of connections—our families, our friends, our neighbors, for example. When we attempt murder to defend our views, we’re very likely going too far. It’s essential to get beyond the anger and violence to someplace more rational.

What I liked: An interesting experiment in emotional storytelling and film making. I liked the slow introduction of complicated relationships between all the characters. Fundamentally I agree with the humanist message of tolerance and consideration of others perspectives. I value those qualities in this world, and wish everyone would think and empathize before judging and condemning.

What I disliked: Discontinuity. I found it frustrating that the film took place out of sequence. I don’t feel like enough was gained by the maneuvering. Sometimes the story became confusing when I tried to distinguish between the imaginary scenes and the historical ones. The mother’s character seemed so vapid and ethereal. Unimaginably shallow for someone who was declared to be so vibrant and alive.

Rating: 8 of 10

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