The Souvenir

audience Reviews

, 36% Audience Score
  • Rating: 0.5 out of 5 stars
    Sometimes I'm reminded that professional reviewers get paid to sit through a film, and even if the film is bad (and this one is bad,) the fact that it's different than most films is significantly interesting enough that it piques the interest of the professional reviewers. But as a consumer, I have to admit that I would like to have the 40 minutes of my life that I invested into this movie refunded. It was just so painfully boring, I gave up. And I can really enjoy slow moving thoughtful films - this one is just slow moving.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    I found it difficult to follow what was going on. It often wasn't clear how much Julie knew about Anthony's manipulations. E.g. all of a sudden she's bursting into tears in a hotel room; is it because she suspects something? Then why did she agree to go in the first place? Later she accuses him of something and he goes on some tangent about a car bomb and I have no idea what he's talking about or if she's falling for it. I appreciate that the film didn't heap on exposition like we're complete idiots, but this went too hard in the other direction.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Solid if predictable film about multiple kinds of addiction.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    Being co-dependent with a heroin addict is not love. And the protagonist never learns her lesson.
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
    The critics might like it. I didn't.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Hogg isn't playing by the typical rules of a coming of age drama, which makes "The Souvenir" feel more raw and honest than you'd expect.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    A very conflicted 3 stars. It's self indulgent, but engaging for other self-indulgents like myself. A plus is Hogg's expressiveness in cinematography and script validation of a privileged, passive, conflicting self-abusive female character who would be completely overlooked in any other context. You will not see a character like this so thoroughly drawn in any other film. It's legitimate to question this focus - until we look at the self obsession and misogyny of the staple of almost all movies available. Her overuse of visual cues (the kissing of her lovers hands, for example) became frustrating in context - but maybe that was the directors point? My main issue was with the ultimate pseudo martyrdom of a narcissistic abusive character for a passive, female foolish one in the end. Multiple times Hogg presents a counterpoint to the passive acceptance of this financial emotional dedication abuse, through the contrasting alive-ness of her hosted parties, in the kind concern of her fellow students - which she carries through right to the end - and in the hints of the friends of her 'boyfriend'. The seeming redemption-martyrdom ending foils it all. She's learnt nothing, she's lost everything, her ego has given in to her sincerity. Ironic then that this is Hogg's most successful mainstream film. Her main character is privileged and wants to acknowledge that, but the film is still about this privileged, self-defeating character... And in her - as what seems to be semi-autobiographical reflection -Hogg seems to want to eat her cake and to have it too.
  • Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars
    I've no idea what to expect from this - I have a sneaking suspicion I'm going to roll my eyes at the superficial artiness of it all, but let's see shall we? Hmmm - "superficial artiness" is a bit harsh because it's basically a true story, but it doesn't feel very relatable ("extraordinary and excoriating" is pretty accurate). Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne) is at film school when she starts up a relationship with Anthony, a charming older man (Tom Burke) who turns out to be a bit of a wrong 'un - it takes us about five seconds to realise this, but it obviously took Julie/Joanna considerably longer to cotton on because of her sheltered/privileged upbringing. And basically that's all that happens as we dip into various aspects of Julie's personal, family and school life as the relationship progresses. And well, it's generally all rather dull. I think it's "true to life"ness is part of my problem with it. The detail is well observed, but it's just not of interest. And in the interesting bits, Julie is just so naive and manipulated that I felt very uncomfortable watching it - if only half the details are an accurate portrayal of Joanna Hogg's life then it's certainly a brave choice to put them on screen and I hope she found the process therapeutic. I, on the other hand, did not and spent a lot of the time feeling either uncomfortable or bored. I do think it's well acted, but not really in a style I appreciate. It's the first major role for Honor Swinton Byrne (Tilda Swinton's daughter) and she looks comfortable in front of the camera, even though she's often called upon to look uncomfortable. Tom Burke is also good - Anthony's an interesting character because you just don't know whether you can believe anything he says. There's also a very young looking Richard Ayoade in it - seeming somewhat more natural than he normally does (but the bit he's in is extremely boring!). And the good news is that Tilda actually does some normal acting in this - unlike another of her films I've very recently endured. It also features Tosin Cole (Ryan from Doctor Who) but I totally didn't recognise him! I know there's a phrase for this style of film but I don't know what it is - I'm pretty certain it's not going to be "blurry, 'look at me being true to life' nonsense" though. And yes, I'm being harsh but I really struggled to keep interest in this or to like any of the people in it and it all feels very "art school". I can see the argument that it's a "good" film though - in addition to being well acted it feels very artfully designed (whilst at the same time being true to life) and Joanna Hogg obviously has a good eye for a shot. All in all, this really hasn't put me in the mood for the film I've got to watch next - it was a massive struggle to complete which has taken me about ten sittings over six months. I do hope it worked as therapy for Joanna, because it certainly didn't work as a film for me - it feels like one for the art critics and no-one else. But if you're still determined to watch it after that ringing endorsement, it's available to stream on Netflix or to rent in all the usual other locations.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    Genuinely one of the best movies I have ever seen.
  • Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    This film was good 👍🏼