The Souvenir (2019)

# 16036 IMDb R 

The Souvenir (2019

taglineThe Past Never Stays in Focus.

Director: Joanna Hogg

Stars: Tilda Swinton, Ariane Labed, Richard Ayoade, Tom Burke, Jack McMullen

Drama, Mystery, Romance (2h)


Rated 6.8 after 1,250 votes, 92% postive reviews on 01-Aug-19.

1 win & 7 nominations


A young film student in the early '80s becomes romantically involved with a complicated and untrustworthy man.


Joanna Hogg (director) Tosin Cole Jack McMullen Tilda Swinton Frankie Wilson Honor Swinton Byrne Janet Etuk

Neil Young (Radio Interviewer), Tosin Cole (Phil), Jack McMullen (Jack), Tilda Swinton (Rosalind), Frankie Wilson (Frankie), Honor Swinton Byrne (Julie), Hannah Ashby Ward (Tracy), Janet Etuk (Janet), Chyna Terrelonge-Vaughan (Ray), Tom Burke (Anthony), Alice McMillan (Elisa), Barbara Peirson (Barbara), James Dodds (James), Dick Fontaine (Head of Film School), Steve Gough (Head of Direction), Crispin Buxton (Head of Production), James Spencer Ashworth (William), Richard Ayoade (Patrick), Lydia Fox (Lydia), Jaygann Ayeh (Marland), El Pilkington (Susan), Grace Snell (Dress Maker), Leonardo Bozzo (Bell Boy Venice), Leighton Spence (Student Cameraman), Siobhan Harper Ryan (Makeup Artist), Carla Ornstein (NA Speaker), Jaz Dalrymple (NA Member), Peter Hall (NA Member), Estelle Long (NA Member), Lee Martin (School Handyman), Nicholas Gollop (Doctor), Jake Phillips Head (Julie's Lover), Ariane Labed (Garance), James Barrett (Film School Student), Roscoe Gibson-Denney (Film School Student), Eleanor Goff (Film School Student), Ben Hecking (Film School Student), Pedro Moura (Film School Student), Calhan Mundy (Film School Student), Keifer Nyron Taylor (Film School Student)...

From the same director


Joanna Hogg (screenplay)

Produced by

Dave Bishop (executive producer), Crispin Buxton (associate producer), Lizzie Francke (executive producer), Joanna Hogg (producer), Luke Schiller (producer), Martin Scorsese (executive producer), Andrew Starke (executive producer), Lesley Stewart (line producer), Emma Tillinger Koskoff (executive producer)


Honor Swinton Byrne gives a profoundly subtle performance as an impressionable film student from a privileged upbringing who becomes romantically involved with an enigmatic, charming man who works for the British government. Tom Burke is a stark presence as the young woman's muse. They gradually become inseparable.

She is a thoughtful, sensitive person who soon finds herself navigating the pitfalls of his serpentine personality. The film proceeds at a very deliberate pace and is low-key to the point of being catatonic at times. The main criticism of this film is that its slow patches do go on for quite a bit. But out of this dry and methodical narrative eventually emerges a raw tension leading to a conclusion that is quite powerful.

Although this isn't quite the masterpiece that many reviews have made it out to be, I found it a worthwhile and subtly rewarding cinematic experience. Recommended to patient viewers.


Joanna Hogg wrote the script based on her real-life experiences while attending film school in London in the early 80's. Tilda Swinton and Hogg have been friends since they were ten years old, and Swinton witnessed Hogg's relationship at the time. All actors read the script except for Honor Swinton Byrne. Director Joanna Hogg gave her instead her diaries from the early 80's, notes, photographs, old scripts and films she wrote and made at that time. She was told to improvise every scene, while the rest of the cast had scripts but were still told to react to her as well as they could. Hogg also gave Tom Burke old letters, recordings and drawings from the man his character is based on.

14 total 


1 win & 7 nominations 
Berlin International Film Festival • Bildrausch Filmfest Basel • Edinburgh International Film Festival • Galway Film Fleadh • Golden Trailer Awards • Odessa International Film Festival • Sundance Film Festival • Sydney Film Festival

Other titles

The Souvenir ((original title); USA; World-wide (English title)) • Сувенир: Часть 1 (Russia)



Rated R for some sexuality, graphic nudity, drug material and language


Canada:14A / Canada:14A / Canada:14A / Canada:G / Ireland:15A / United Kingdom:15 / United States:R



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