The Souvenir

The Souvenir

Joanna Hogg (2019)

119min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
A naive young woman has her eyes opened by a destructive love affair in this precise and engrossing tale of addiction and creative emergence from British writer/director Joanna Hogg (Archipelago). Set in the early 80s and loosely based on Hogg's own life, the film stars Honor Swinton-Byrne as the earnest, prim and slightly startled Julie, an aspiring filmmaker from an affluent background with seemingly scant life experience who falls for an enigmatic Foreign Office employee (Tom Burke, tremendous as he oscillates between shifty and sincere). The dialogue feels both naturalistic and pointedly awkward, while there's a little more tenderness here than in Hogg's previous studies of domestic discomfort, including between Swinton-Byrne and her real-life mother Tilda Swinton (playing Julie's mother, who is constantly called upon to fill the financial gap). Swinton-Byrne gives a fresh-faced, gorgeously unadorned performance and, rather than confronting us with brutal reality, Hogg utilises the weight of the unsaid to intrigue and beguile. She brings us teasingly close and holds us at a cool, careful remove, capturing the impossibility of ever knowing another. Excitingly, part two will follow.

Cast & Crew

Julie Honor Swinton-Byrne
Anthony Tom Burke
Julie's mother Tilda Swinton
Garance Ariane Labed
Patrick Richard Ayoade
Marland Jaygann Ayeh
Jack Jack McMullen
Director Joanna Hogg
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Curzon Artificial EyeReleased on: 30 Aug 2019