In Atom Egoyan’s latest film, Guest of Honour, David Thewlis plays Jim, an all-powerful food inspector who doesn’t hesitate to make or break local establishments with his powerful restaurant ratings.
His family dynamic begins to impact his work, as he makes weekly prison visits to see his daughter Veronica (Laysla De Oliveira), a high-school music teacher who was punished for a hoax on the school bus driver that went too far.
As Jim tries to get Veronica an early release, what he doesn’t know is that she is punishing herself for different actions from her past. Their inability to connect as they protect their own secrets yields unexpected results. Veronica confides in a local priest, Father Greg (Luke Wilson), who may ultimately be able to unlock the secret to their tangled father-daughter relationship.
“I’m excited to present characters we haven’t seen before, and to tell an unusual and unexpected story,” Egoyan tells The Hollywood Reporter about his new film.
“The hero in this film is a troubled food inspector and his quest to find the hidden story that has driven his daughter to take an extreme action,” he says. “These characters, Jim and Veronica, have haunted me for a long time and I’m thrilled to introduce them. Their attempt to understand each other creates an intimate and revealing mystery.”
This twisting tale of family and morality will make its world debut Sept. 3 at the 76th Venice International Film Festival, which is set to run Wednesday-Sept. 7. It will then have its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.