The Guest: Dan Stevens is outstanding in the title role
The premiere for The Guest took place last night, in Sundance. As well as some wonderful photos of Dan attending the event on Getty and other photo agencies, there is a fantastic review for Dan's performance on HitFix.
I've never seen even five seconds of "Downton Abbey" and before tonight, I wouldn't have known Dan Stevens on the street if I'd seen him. But he is front and center in "The Guest," and he is outstanding in the title role. He plays David, a soldier who shows up one day on the doorstep of a couple (played by Leland Orser and Sheila Kelley) who recently lost their son in Afghanistan. David tells them that he knew their son and he promised him when he died that David would check up on them to make sure they were okay. Anna (Maika Monroe) and Luke (Brendan Meyer) are Caleb's brother and sister, and they each react in different ways to David's arrival. Luke is bullied, a timid kid who could use an older brother, particularly one who is a killing machine bad-ass, while Anna is starting to pull away from her parents and she is suspicious of this stranger...
...Stevens has a great ability to turn on the charm in one moment, then drop it and go deadly serious in the next, and the way you're never sure what's actually coming out of David is one of the film's pleasures. Wingard is totally aware of just how much fun Stevens is, too. Each time Stevens drops his mask to reveal some new facet of who David actually is, you can almost hear Wingard and Barrett high-fiving each other behind the camera. There is a giddy sense of invention to the movie, and it's told in this breathless way that is part of what makes it feels like such unashamed fun.