Twelve-year-old Paul likes to play in the woods close to the psychiatric institution where his mother works. One day, he meets the young patient Gloria, who is constantly trying to escape. The staff of the clinic say she's dangerous, and hears voices in her head. Following an incident, Paul and Gloria flee together. Gloria wants to go to Bretagne, where her grandpa lives. She sets out accompanied by Paul, first on foot and later in a small boat.
Adoration is lyrically filmed road movie through the Ardennes, a region where director Du Welz has set two previous films, including Calvaire (2004). The young pair meet various people along the way, and sensitive Paul is confronted by Gloria's unpredictable behaviour. His awakening sexual feelings perfectly match the pastoral atmosphere evoked by Du Welz. At the beginning of the film, Paul saves a bird – but can he save Gloria?