The story begins with Jim’s (David Thewlis) daughter Veronica (Laysla De
Oliveira) arranging her father’s funeral with their local minister (Luke
Wilson). During the pair’s conversation we find out, in flashback, that her
father was employed as a food inspector, a job that fitted him like a
glove. A rather serious man, Jim was on the lookout for violations of the
food hygiene code even when he was just out for a sandwich for lunch.
As the pair peel away the layers of Jim’s life we find that her father
certainly had his demons. Left widowed after his wife has died of cancer
and his daughter has spent time in prison the only company that he has is a
rather elderly rabbit called Benjamin. It’s during his time on his own that
he becomes obsessed with finding the truth as to why his daughter, a music
teacher, has ended up in prison for sexual offences against teenage
students’ that she clearly didn’t commit..
Thewlis and De Oliveira are excellent in their respective roles, the
problem appears to be that in weaving so many different threads in his
story, writer and director Atom Egoyan doesn’t really bring any of them to
a satisfying conclusion.
Whilst enjoyable, in no small part, thanks to Thewlis’s and De Oliveira’s
performances, “Guest Of Honour” is, ultimately, a film that promises so
much, but by the end, leaves you with more questions than answers.