The Souvenir (2019)

Joanna Hogg directs Honor Swinton Byrne, Tom Burke and Tilda Swinton in this semi-autobiographical period romance where a Sloaney film student enters a toxic relationship with a mysterious, aloof older man.

This is the film that is topping the critics’ 2019 “best of” lists that you hadn’t really even heard of. I expected to hate it. Posho problems, arty dandyishness. Yet I was gripped and seduced for a lot of it. The London of my youth is evoked in cleverly framed shots and nicely populated scenes. The slow drip reveal of the darkness inherent in the elusive, scarred Anthony is expertly deployed. Honor Swinton Byrne puts in a fine shift – conveying that horrible but all too universal sensation of falling for someone who is bad for you but you love anyway. It is a film of half glimpsed moments, an emotional puzzle and I recommend you give it a chance.


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