Adoration Atom Egoyan

Adoration Atom Egoyan
Between the glossy Where the Truth Lies and Chloe (which debuted at this year's Toronto International Film Festival, to mixed reviews), Atom Egoyan wrote and directed this little-seen throwback to his earlier, more structurally complex work. Simon (Devon Bostick) is a half-Lebanese, half-Anglo high school student whose social circle meets almost nightly in an internet chat room. While translating a story for his French class, he radically rewrites it on a whim, turning it into an autobiography about his fictional terrorist father. Simon's fascinated teacher (Arsinee Khanjian) asks him to expand it for a drama presentation but doesn't anticipate he will post it on the internet as truth. While Egoyan has always been an earnest filmmaker, Adoration
 borders on stilted, with dialogue often weighed down by that heavy Egoyan speak, full of weighty 
pronouncements and monologues, with the narrative often grinding to a halt for awkward flashbacks to Simon's cartoonishly pure parents. Still, the questions Egoyan raises about post-9/11 racial politics are familiar but worth consideration, and he is eerily convincing in his depiction of the internet as a breeding ground for fear and hatred. The worthwhile DVD extras include an interview with Egoyan, where he compares the film with his 1989 feature, Speaking Parts, which also dealt with virtual communication. "What's happened in the 20 years since that movie is we can all make image… this domain of international broadcast, which used to be reserved to a few meticulously reserved private sources, is now [such that] anyone can broadcast their thoughts." Twenty years after Speaking Parts, Atom Egoyan is still our national poet of technophobia. Other extras include deleted scenes and a making-of documentary. (E1)