Parents' Guide to

Guest of Honour

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Convoluted drama has mature themes, drinking.

Movie NR 2020 105 minutes
Guest of Honour Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 14+

A well made drama movie;intense images

A well-made drama movie is very amazing! But this is for older teens! Some violence is intense to see! PG-13: some intense violence and strong language
age 17+

A Wondefrul/drama movie!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (3):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Atom Egoyan once again dwells in the world of destructive family secrets and mistrust with some out-of-boundaries sex stuff -- but as juicy as that may sound, it's a drudge. The fact that lead character Jim is a food inspector says it all. This is a job that's rarely highlighted on the big screen because it's often dull and stomach turning, at least as evidenced here. Of course, there's more to the story: Jim was a restaurant owner with dreams of building an empire, but life had other plans. As did Veronica, a gifted composer and music teacher. How she winds up in jail is the mystery Jim tries to solve along with the viewer. (Secrets, you see ... ) But Veronica is clearly so angry with her father that she'd rather shame him for something she didn't do than just share with him what it was that he did.

It's all not as shocking as Egoyan thinks. When the reveals come, you can feel the writer-director hearing a "bah-bum-bum!" But to viewers, the curtain is pulled back just to reveal a shade. Guest of Honour is told in such a painfully slow way that it's like hearing the 10-minute version of a 30-second event. The more the film continues, the more complex the characters get -- and the less you're inclined to like them. Often, it's not as enlightening as it is aggravating: They're gross. Wilson's priest may be forgiving of the characters' choices, but parents will be less likely to shrug off their transgressions. The good news, then, is that it's hard to imagine teens will stay plugged into this cloudy, drawn-out tale -- and why should they? It's a yawn of human anguish.

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