The Souvenir

BBFC Ratingf-rated FilmThe Souvenir

Showing: 30 August 2019 until 05 September 2019

The Souvenir
GenreDrama, Mystery, Romance
DirectorJoanna Hogg
CountryUK, USA
Running Time2HR
SeasonMain Programme

New from British director Joanna Hogg, known for her cerebral dissections of middle-class British life – Unrelated, Exhibition and Archipelago – comes this exquisite semi-autobiographical drama, produced by Martin Scorsese and hailed as her most accomplished film to date.

In 1980s London, against a backdrop of ascendant Thatcherism and IRA violence, Julie, a young, quietly ambitious film student (Honor Swinton Byrne) embarks on her first serious love affair with the mysterious Anthony (Tom Burke). She’s trying to develop a documentary project set in working-class Sunderland, a community at odds with her own moneyed background. Despite the concerns of her mother (Tilda Swinton) and friends, she slips deeper into a turbulent relationship with Anthony, finding it increasingly hard to discern fact from fiction. 

It is a really gorgeous film – nostalgic, melancholy, specific and incredibly intimate, and shot and conceived in a way that feels like Hogg is taking you into her private confidence as she navigates the confusions of her younger self (or a version of it). It’s also a calling card for Swinton Byrne, who gives a truly star-making performance as Julie – an awkward, diffident, yet passionate young woman investigating love, class, creativity and her place in the world.