Rated 1.0

It’s hard to comprehend that the same Atom Egoyan who made the painfully dull 2008 Adoration was a white-hot young director just 10 years earlier. As with all of Egoyan’s work, it’s a cerebral film essay structured like a mystery, but unlike in Exotica or The Sweet Hereafter, you don’t want to solve it. The fractured narrative involves a half-Palestinian student who falsely claims to be the son of a real-life terrorist and passionately defends his father’s actions in writing. He does it at the prodding of a drama teacher with her own secrets, and Adoration slowly expands to become a study of the intrusive effect that media has on our perceptions (symbolized by weird video chat rooms where people talk about terrorism and the Holocaust instead of masturbating). Adoration is about as entertaining as a semiotics course.