A shy but ambitious film student (Honor Swinton Byrne) begins to find her voice as an artist while navigating a turbulent courtship with a charismatic but untrustworthy man (Tom Burke). She defies her protective mother (Tilda Swinton) and concerned friends as she slips deeper and deeper into an intense, emotionally fraught relationship that comes dangerously close to destroying her dreams.
From acclaimed writer-director Joanna Hogg comes an enigmatic and personal portrait of the artist as a young woman, combining passionate emotions and exquisite aesthetics into a lush, dreamlike story of young adulthood and first love.
100 CineVue/Lucy Popescu It’s multi-layered and beautifully observed – as much about the creative process as it is about obsessive love. It’s a glorious affirmation of how experience feeds artistic endeavour
San Francisco Chronicle/G. Allen Johnson The most passionate love affair in The Souvenir is with film. Hogg utilizes an almost cinema verite style, with a visual look of the grainy kind of 16mm film an ’80s film school student would work with. Her style is reminiscent of early Olivier Assayas or Éric Rohmer’s “The Green Ray” (1986), an acknowledged influence
RogerEbert.com/Monica Castillo For me, The Souvenir is perhaps the most empathetic movie to capture that kind of bad romance, the way it seeps into every aspect of your life, the way it changes your behavior, how you hold onto the memories of good times when things get rough and how after it ends, you're a changed person.
The New York Times/A.O. Scott The Souvenir feels like a whispered confidence, an intimate disclosure that shouldn’t be betrayed because it isn’t really yours.
The Telegraph/Robbie Collin In tackling a story that is presumably, and perhaps painfully, close to home, [Hogg] has made her farthest-reaching film yet.
Variety/Guy Lodge Achingly well-observed in its study of a young artist inspired, derailed and finally strengthened by a toxic relationship, it is at once the coming-of-age story of many women and a specific creative manifesto for one of modern British cinema’s most singular writer-directors.