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Guest of Honour

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Canada · 2020
1h 45m
Director Atom Egoyan
Starring David Thewlis, Luke Wilson, Laysla De Oliveira, Rossif Sutherland
Genre Drama

Jim and his daughter Veronica, a young high school music teacher, attempt to unravel their complicated histories and intertwined secrets in "Guest of Honour," a film that weaves through time exploring perception and penance, memory and forgiveness.

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What are critics saying?


The Playlist by

While the non-linear structure of Guest of Honour makes for a more thrilling watch than if it had played out chronologically, the story can be uneven and unsatisfying in places.


CineVue by Christopher Machell

Buried underneath the convolutions, the mistaking of melodramatic sensationalism over psychological reality, there really is something of a real emotional centre that just about makes enduring the rest worth it.


IndieWire by David Ehrlich

A riveting but utterly ridiculous melodrama about the burden of guilt and the value of bunny shit, Atom Egoyan’s “Guest of Honour” layers one absurd turn on top of another with the confidence of a veteran architect, and yet — even at its most perversely entertaining — this very unpredictable movie only feels as if it’s working in spite of itself.


The Hollywood Reporter by David Rooney

Guest of Honour feels like a failed attempt to tame the unwieldy story of a complicated novel. But in fact it's an original screenplay, which means Egoyan has gone out of his way to create the overly fussy structure, perhaps in a bid to lend the psychologically wobbly drama some weight.


Variety by Guy Lodge

At once overplotted and under-reasoned, hysterical and stiffly earnest, Guest of Honour is finally one of those strenuously diagrammatic mysteries in which everything notionally connects, which isn’t quite the same as everything making even marginal emotional sense.


Screen Daily by Lee Marshall

Egoyan is so impatient to cut through to the emotional truth that he asks us to take on board a series of lazy contrivances that will test even the most forgiving viewer.


Movie Nation by Roger Moore

That makes Guest of Honour more unsatisfying than bad, more polished than it could be in many ways, but sloppy in ones that count — namely the script. It’s a textbook case of a “fascinating failure.”


The Guardian by Xan Brooks

I’m not convinced it amounts to any more than the sum of its parts, but the parts are intriguing – and some are possessed of real power.

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