The Souvenir follows the story of Julie and Anthony: a story of abuse, power and manipulation. Julie struggles to understand how she was drawn into a toxic relationship, and must confront her partner’s drug addiction. The movie is the autobiographical story of director Joanna Hogg.
Julie is an aspiring film student who is searching for her artistic voice. During a birthday party, she starts talking with an older man, Anthony, and they quickly begin a passionate romance. At first, Anthony seems to be an intellectual, charming man who takes Julie to restaurants, gives her film recommendations and writes poetic love letters. Julie is absorbed by her new love, and defies her parents and friends who question her relationship. Over time, Anthony shows his erratic character, hinting on his addiction to heroin. He moves in with Julie and constantly asks her for money. As Julie slowly understands the truth, she chooses to stay loyal to Anthony, denying the patterns of her obviously toxic relationship.
In The Souvenir, the camera often leaves important moments outside the frame, emphasising the emptiness of their spaces. The film is a depiction of Julie’s vulnerability and insecurity, as well as her attempt to process the consequences of continuous manipulation and gaslighting she had been exposed to.
Joanna Hogg (b. 1960) is a British filmmaker. She has directed Unrelated (2007) and The Souvenir (2019), which premiered in the Sundance Festival in 2019. The sequel The Souvenir: Part II premiered to high acclaim in Cannes in 2021, and is also shown in this year's TIFF program.
2021 The Souvenir: Part II
2019 The Souvenir
|Run time:||1h 59m|
|Cast:||Honor Swinton Byrne, Tilda Swinton, Tom Burke, Richard Ayoade|
|Producer:||Joanna Hogg, Luke Schiller|