Writer/director/star Pat Mills gets top marks for ambition in Guidance

GUIDANCE (Pat Mills). 83 minutes. See listings. Rating: NNN

Where to watch: iTunes

Acclaimed for his short films, writer/director/star Pat Mills confidently moves into features with this darkly comic look at David (Mills), an underemployed, alcoholic and deeply closeted former child star who scams his way into working as a high school guidance counsellor and becomes popular with the students by plying them with booze, pot and bad advice.

Mills skilfully sets up characters and situations, draws strong work from his cast of mostly locals (expert at playing straight-faced) and makes fine use throughout of a silly motivational recording David’s seen making in the first scene. But the energy flags halfway through, until a terrifically absurd sequence involving tanning salons.

Stay for a hilarious scene in the closing credits. 


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