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In the opening scenes of Adoration, 12-yr-old Paul bonds with a young chaffinch he has found during his wanderings in the grounds of the psychiatric institution where his mother is a cleaner. This wistful relationship is a prologue to a much stormier one with the slightly older, beguiling and utterly unhinged Gloria, who is being treated at the hospital. Paul is besotted and will do anything for Gloria, but not without feeling uneasy. He aids her escape and the renegade couple, somewhat like Bonnie and Clyde, flees across the dreamy Ardennes countryside, trailing fire and destruction in their wake. Despite the presence of mobile phones and cars, director Fabrice du Welz works hard to establish an impressive timelessness to this modern fairy tale, the third in his so-called ‘Ardennes Trilogy’ (preceded by Calvaire, 2004 and Alléluia, 2014). The lush cinematography and impressive performances from the very young leads ensure this is a poignant, edgy and gorgeous-looking portrayal of young, obsessive love.
Adoration garnered 4 awards at the 2019 Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival, including the Méliès d’Argent for Best Feature Length European Film and Best Cinematography for Manuel Dacosse.
“Viewers too can project onto du Welz’s delicate escapade all manner of allegorical interpretations – for in its natural, and not so natural, settings, in its blurring of youthful optimism and adult melancholy, in its evocation of changing seasons and impending death, it is easy both to see and to lose yourself.” - Anton Bitel, Projected Figures.
Thomas Gioria, Fantine Harduin, Benoît Poelvoorde, Anaël Snoek, Gwendolyn Gourvenec
Fabrice du Welz