Review: ‘Guest Of Honour’

Veronica wants to remain in jail for a sexual assault she knows she’s been wrongfully indicted for. She and her father, Jim, find themselves acting out of the bounds of good behavior as the past haunts them.

Ethics and emotion and two versions of one memory; a complex father/daughter relationship is told through time jumps.  The new film by Academy Award-Nominated director & writer Atom Egoyan, The Guest of Honour is about questionable decisions and power dynamics. It is complicated in the most engrossing way. David Thewlis and Laysla De Oliveira make a compelling pair. Their chemistry has the perfect balance of volatility and authenticity. Each is afforded the opportunity to play contrasting traits of their characters. Luke Wilson plays a priest, but also a mediator and confession soundboard. He is a key player in the larger scope of the narrative.

Memories can be as delicate as the feelings that come with them. This script is driven by guilt and supposition. While, oftentimes, time jumps can muddle a story, but here the editing becomes another character driving the beats and mystery forward. The Guest of Honour is a nuanced and intriguing film about the intricacies of family, reclaiming power, and learning to let go.

David Thewlis (Naked), Laysla De Oliveira,
Rossif Sutherland & Luke Wilson
Venice International Film Festival
Toronto International Film Festival
BFI London Film Festival

About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.

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