Friday, May 23, 2008

Egoyan at Cannes

A mixed review of Atom Egoyan's Adoration. I've always liked Egoyan, at his best his editing and control of how much information the audience gets is masterful. Here are my reviews of Where The Truth Lies and the early Family Viewing. (Variety)

As ever, it's hard not to respect the sheer number of ideas, concerns and subtexts Egoyan touches on, from the difficulty of cross-cultural communication to the human tendency to construct alternate realities and identities. While the script steers clear of the minefield of Mideast politics, it foregrounds the three major Western religions throughout, not least in the way it conflates pregnant Rachel's trip to Israel with the story of Jesus' birth.

But the common charge against Egoyan, that he's more intellectual than dramatist, holds true here, in a film too contrived and prone to spelling itself out to achieve the catharsis it strains for at the end. Khanjian, the helmer's wife and ensemble regular, is given one blunt speech after another as the talkative prof who's either a bold provocateur or a few sheep short of a nativity scene.

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