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Director:Atom Egoyan
Cast:Scott Speedman, Rachel Blanchard, Kenneth Welsh, Devon Bostick
Release Date:2009

Opens Sept. 18 at the Charles Theatre.

By Corey Hall | Posted 9/16/2009

Devon Bostick is Simon, a sensitive orphan teen raised by his sulky uncle (Scott Speedman), and struggling to give meaning to his parents' deaths through a bizarre school project that's part social experiment. Simon's French teacher (Arsinée Khanjian) urges him to take the story of a Middle Eastern man who attempted to plant a bomb in his wife's luggage and adopt it as his own tragic history. The story explodes across the web, and soon Simon has stirred up both controversy and the lingering ghosts of reality that haunt his family. This is potent, engrossing stuff, though it's hard not to be disappointed when the buried truth is finally out, an outcome both sadder and less earth-shattering than you have been led to believe. The actors thrive in spite of the glacial pacing and overly circuitous narrative path, with surprisingly rich work from Speedman and Rachel Blanchard as Simon's lovely, doomed mother. With all the energy spent on deception and misdirection, the ending might feel a bit like a cheat, but perhaps writer/director Atom Egoyan believes that every tragedy, no matter how small, has epic repercussions to those who live through it.

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