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The Souvenir

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Director: Joanna Hogg, Joanna Hogg, Joanna Hogg
2019 / 120min / DCP

Hogg, who has quietly established herself as one of the finest UK filmmakers working, offers a keenly observed, sometimes bruising portrayal of toxic romance set in ’80s Britain, starring Honor Swinton Byrne (daughter of Tilda, who plays the character’s patrician mother) as Julie, an aspiring filmmaker who begins a relationship with Anthony (Tom Burke), a slightly older man in the employ of the Foreign Office whose attractive intelligence and worldliness can’t compensate for the fact that he is a heroin addict and a natural manipulator. Hogg’s usual compositional rigor works in service of enormously empathic semi-autobiographical storytelling, using flashback inserts in order to plumb the psychology of a hopelessly dysfunctional relationship. “Byrne is a revelation, and Julie is an embodiment of the awkwardness and heedless grace of young adulthood almost without precedent in the movies.”—The New York Times

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