• Film ID:
  • 20562
  • Availability:
  • DVD Available from Shop
  • Film cert:
  • Running time:
  • DVD=120 min.
  • Nationality(ies):
  • Britain.
  • Primary Language(s):
  • English.
THE SOUVENIR (2019)
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Review

Based on a true story: in the 1980s, Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne) is a young British woman from a wealthy family and attending film school. She hooks up with Anthony (Tom Burke) who gradually takes advantage of her while trying to hide his serious personality flaws and habits. Swinton Byrne does not, in any way, give a bad performance; in fact, it is rather good. But she lacks the depth and subtlety required to carry the main role in a two-hour movie. Adding to the trouble is Burke whose Tom is as bland as kale and as common as a condo construction project in downtown Toronto. This character is so lacking in charisma and charm that the film becomes an unintentional mystery as the viewer is left to wonder what Julie could possibly see in him with or without his shortcomings. A sad irony is a scene in the film in which a film teacher explains that "Psycho" was a success as most scenes were normal, thus making its abnormal, frightening scenes stand out more. If only writer/director Joanna Hogg had followed the advice that she had written for one of her secondary characters. While the narrative of "The Souvenir" is consistent, it does not have any scene that stands out, making it long and dull. A saving grace was the presence of Tilda Swinton (Swinton Byrne's real-life mother) portraying Julie's mother - emphasis on the word 'presence' which was missing in the primary performances. The film would have benefited with more scenes that included Swinton Senior. "The Souvenir" is hyper-praised in the most baffling of ways by most critics. One of the praises is that it's based on a true story. Well, there are billions of true stories that don't make good films. Sadly, "The Souvenir" is one of them. (by Proud Luddite)

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