The film was first shown at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. Adoration won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and was nominated for the Palme d'Or. It won "Best Canadian Feature Film – Special Jury Citation" at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival. The film had its U.S. premiere in April 2009 at the San Francisco International Film Festival and went into U.S. release on May 8, 2009.
High school French teacher Sabine reads to her class as a translation exercise a French newspaper report of a terrorist who planted a bomb in the airline luggage of his pregnant girlfriend. If the bomb had detonated, it would have killed her, her unborn child, and many others, but it was discovered in time by Israeli security personnel. Egoyan based the story partly on the 1986 Hindawi affair.
In the course of translating, Simon, who lives with his maternal uncle Tom, imagines that the news item is his own family's story: that his Palestinian father Sami was the terrorist, the woman was his mother Rachel, an accomplished violinist, and he was her unborn child. Years ago, Sami crashed the family car, killing both himself and Rachel, making Simon an orphan. Influenced by his maternal grandfather, Morris, who disliked Sami, Simon has always feared that the crash was not an accident but intentional.
Sabine asks him to develop the story as a drama exercise, to read it to the class, and for dramatic effect to pretend that it really happened. He does so, and discussions evolve on the Internet about the story. Sabine is fired for making Simon lie.
Tom, who is a tow truck driver, tows Sabine's car away. Sabine follows him in a taxi, and by mobile phone she offers him a meal in a restaurant. Later she reveals to him that she had been married to Sami for 5 years, until Sami met Rachel.
Devon Bostick as Simon
Rachel Blanchard as Rachel
Scott Speedman as Tom
Arsinée Khanjian as Sabine
Kenneth Welsh as Morris
Noam Jenkins as Sami
Katie Boland as Hannah
Geraldine O'Rawe as Carole
Louca Tassone as Young Simon
Yuval Daniel as Security Officer
Jeremy Wright as Delivery Guy
Thomas Hauff as Nick
Martin Roach as Car Owner
Michael Barry as Skinhead
Ieva Lucs as Berating Woman
Hailee Sisera as Jennifer
The Internet discussion sessions featured in the film were edited from a two- to four-hour improvised group discussion on the Internet by several of Egoyan's friends and fellow artists.
The film received mostly positive reviews. As of December 7, 2010, 61% of 95 critics listed by review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes had given the film a positive review, with an average rating of 6.1/10. On Metacritic, the film has a score of 65 out of 100, based on 19 reviews.