Guest of Honour parents guide

Guest of Honour Parent Guide

If his relationship were a restaurant, he might have to close it down.

Overall C-

Jim spends his days as a food safety inspector- until, that is, his daughter Veronica is accused of using her position as a teacher to have an inappropriate relationship with a student. Her arrest prompts both her and her father to reevaluate their lives.

Release date September 26, 2019

Violence C-
Sexual Content C-
Profanity D
Substance Use C

Why is Guest of Honour rated Not Rated? The MPAA rated Guest of Honour Not Rated

Run Time: 105 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Veronica (Laysla De Oliveira) and her father, Jim (David Thewlis), are at a strange place in their relationship. Veronica has deliberately had herself incarcerated for a crime she knows she didn’t commit, and Jim has abandoned his career as a restaurateur and become a food safety inspector. Both are digesting their deep-seated emotional issues, and their interactions have been increasingly tense and difficult, with causes stretching from the suicide of Veronica’s boyfriend, Jim’s alleged unfaithfulness to his sick wife, to the increasing age of Veronica’s pet rabbit.

I’ll try to start with the positives. The performances in the film, specifically that of David Thewlis, are wonderful. Thewlis’ dry delivery is clearly an attempt to mask his emotional pain and he does an excellent job balancing those aspects of his character without overly favoring one or the other. Laysla De Oliveira also brings a very convincing nervous breakdown, although that may have just been a result of reading the rest of the script.

On the other hand, the writing is slow and overly ponderous. At times it’s merely a glacially-paced drama, but at others it becomes unnecessarily confusing. The plot is straightforward enough, if somewhat overwrought, but director Atom Egoyan seems to be intent on obfuscating any sense of narrative conclusion. Several plotlines just dangle around at the end of the film. While there can be a narrative purpose in leaving things unresolved, in this case it feels more like a mistake than a choice.

The parental concerns are going to outweigh the fun of watching David Thewlis. Fourteen sexual expletives, several references to and depictions of suicide, and a plot that centers on accusations of sexual abuse by teachers are enough to deter younger viewers. Older viewers will be plenty deterred by the poor handling of the themes and characters.

Although I had high hopes going in (a mistake, as usual), I came out feeling a terrible combination of boredom, confusion, and disappointment. Guest of Honour seems to be just another slow, faux artsy drama flick, relying on characters which it is incapable of developing properly, and poorly paced to boot. Although I thank the film for its brevity, there is little else to be grateful for. I have long held the opinion that the best guest is the one who leaves first - this film only reinforces that opinion.

Directed by Atom Egoyan. Starring David Thewlis, Luke Wilson, and Tennille Read. Running time: 105 minutes. Theatrical release September 26, 2019. Updated

Watch the trailer for Guest of Honour

Guest of Honour
Rating & Content Info

Why is Guest of Honour rated Not Rated? Guest of Honour is rated Not Rated by the MPAA

Violence: An individual is shown dead after having committed suicide. Some blood is visible.
Sexual Content: A woman is briefly seen in her underwear. Two people are heard having sex through a wall, although nothing is shown. A person is alleged to have had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a minor, although this is untrue.
Profanity: There are 14 sexual expletives, as well as a few terms of deity and uses of mild and moderate swear words.
Alcohol / Drug Use: An adult character is shown drinking wine with dinner, and is later seen severely intoxicated.

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