“Adoration” combines a violent thriller with a romantic sexual awakening story, capturing the teenage intensity of “amour fou.” It features rising stars Thomas Gioria (“Custody”) and Fantine Harduin (Michael Haneke’s “Happy End”). The film is the finale to the director’s Ardennes trilogy, following “Calvaire” and “Alleluia.”
As well as Locarno, the film played at leading genre festivals such as Fantastic Fest and Sitges, where it won the Special Prize of the Jury, and Rotterdam.
The film follows shy 12-year-old Paul who lives near a psychiatric institute. After an encounter with a patient there, the troubled yet beautiful Gloria, he becomes infatuated and vows to protect her. Insisting the doctors are holding her hostage for an inheritance, the two escape and wreak havoc across the French countryside.
British critic Mark Kermode described the film as a “modern classic.” He said: “A really really interesting film, and a hard one to pigeonhole. I really love it.” The film received a 93% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The film was shot in 16mm by cinematographer Manuel Dacosse. The producers are Manuel Chiche, Vincent Tavier and Violaine Barbaroux. The production companies are Panique, Savage Film and The Jokers Films.
The U.S. deal was negotiated between Frank Jaffe from Altered Innocence and Mathieu Delaunay at Memento Films International.