The Souvenir

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The Souvenir
The Souvenir (2019 poster).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJoanna Hogg
Produced by
  • Joanna Hogg
  • Luke Schiller
Written byJoanna Hogg
CinematographyDavid Raedeker
Edited byHelle Le Fevre
Distributed by
Release date
  • January 27, 2019 (2019-01-27) (Sundance)
  • May 17, 2019 (2019-05-17) (United States)
  • August 30, 2019 (2019-08-30) (United Kingdom)
Running time
119 minutes[1]
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
Box office$1.7 million[2][3]

The Souvenir is a 2019 drama film written and directed by Joanna Hogg which stars Honor Swinton Byrne, Tom Burke, and Tilda Swinton. It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 27, 2019. It was released in the United States on May 17, 2019, by A24, and in the United Kingdom on August 30, 2019, by Curzon Artificial Eye. The film is a semi-autobiographical account of Hogg's experiences at film school.


Julie, a film student, intends to make a movie about a boy, his mother, and their life in the city of Sunderland. She lives in a flat with another student and his girlfriend. She meets Anthony, a well-to-do-man who works at the Foreign Office, who moves in with her after her roommate moves out. He leaves a postcard with a picture of the girl in "The Souvenir." He later takes her to the gallery where the painting is hung. Julie says the girl looks sad, while Anthony says she looks determined.

Anthony has to travel to Paris but returns with some lingerie, which he asks Julie to put on. While they are in bed, she notices some needle marks on his arm but doesn't know what they are, and he continues to ask Julie for money regularly. Julie starts to pay for their restaurant bills and is forced to borrow money from her parents.

Julie and Anthony have dinner with two of Anthony's friends, who reveal to Julie during a moment alone that Anthony is a habitual heroin user. Julie is taken aback but does not mention anything to Anthony.

Anthony explains over a meal at Harrods that he has had relationships with three other girls, including trips to Venice with at least one of them, who appears to have committed suicide while on the trip. He invites Julie to go to Venice with him.

One evening, she returns to find her apartment has been broken into, and her valuable jewelry is missing. Later, on their trip to Venice, Anthony admits to doing it but didn't tell her to keep her from feeling bad. Julie becomes upset, but Anthony manages to convince her he had a good reason for doing so even though he doesn't elaborate on it, insinuating it is related to work and not to his heroin habit. Julie starts noticing when Anthony is on heroin, and she attends a self-help group. She starts to confront him some but doubts herself, and he manipulates and gaslights her. She begins to take on the responsibility of his addiction.

One evening, Julie returns home to find a strange man in her apartment that Anthony must have let in. She also catches an illness from what she's being exposed to through Anthony. Finally, after finding out he was arrested, Julie asks Anthony to move out.

Julie begins to put herself back together after the breakup, to the happiness of her friends and professors. Barbara, Anthony's mother, continues to call Julie to try to find him.

They meet again, and Anthony appears clean long enough for Julie to invite him back in with her, though he soon goes through withdrawal in front of her. Soon though, he starts using again. Anthony goes missing but is later found dead, having overdosed in a public toilet.



The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 27, 2019.[4] A24 and Curzon Artificial Eye acquired U.S. and U.K. distribution rights to the film, respectively.[5][6] It was released in the United States on May 17, 2019,[7] and in the United Kingdom on August 30, 2019.[8]

Critical response[edit]

The film received critical acclaim upon its premiere. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 90%, based on 157 reviews, with an average rating of 8.17/10. The website's critics consensus reads "Made by a filmmaker in command of her craft and a star perfectly matched with the material, The Souvenir is a uniquely impactful coming of age drama."[9] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 92 out of 100, based on 44 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[10]

Guy Lodge of Variety wrote: "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."[11]

Sight & Sound named The Souvenir the best film of 2019 after polling an international group of 100 film critics from around the world.[12]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Sundance Film Festival February 2, 2019 World Cinema Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Joanna Hogg Won [13]
British Independent Film Awards December 1, 2019 Best British Independent Film Joanna Hogg and Luke Schiller Nominated [14]
Best Director Joanna Hogg Nominated
Best Screenplay Joanna Hogg Nominated
Best Actor Tom Burke Nominated
Most Promising Newcomer Honor Swinton Byrne Nominated
Best Costume Design Grace Snell Nominated
Best Editing Helle Le Fevre Nominated
Best Production Design Stéphane Collonge Nominated
National Board of Review January 8, 2020 Top Ten Independent Films The Souvenir Won [15]
London Film Critics' Circle Awards January 30, 2020 Film of the Year The Souvenir Nominated [16]
Screenwriter of the Year Joanna Hogg Nominated
Actor of the Year Tom Burke Nominated
British or Irish Actor of the Year Nominated
Supporting Actress of the Year Tilda Swinton Nominated
The Attenborough Award for the Best British or Irish Film of the Year The Souvenir Won
Young British or Irish Performer of the Year Honor Swinton Byrne Won
Independent Spirit Awards February 8, 2020 Best International Film Joanna Hogg and Luke Schiller Nominated [17]


In May 2019, it was announced a sequel would be produced with Swinton Byrne, Swinton, Ayoade and Labed reprising their roles, with Robert Pattinson joining the cast,[18] although he later dropped out.[19] A24 will distribute.[20] Principal photography began in June 2019.[21][22]


  1. ^ "The Souvenir". Sundance Film Festival. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  2. ^ "The Souvenir". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
  3. ^ "The Souvenir". The Numbers. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  4. ^ Debruge, Peter (November 28, 2018). "Sundance Film Festival Unveils 2019 Features Lineup". Variety. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  5. ^ Hipes, Patrick (December 3, 2018). "A24 Acquires Joanna Hogg's Sundance-Bound 'The Souvenir'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  6. ^ Grater, Tom (January 31, 2019). "Joanna Hogg's 'The Souvenir' secures UK and Ireland deal (exclusive)". Screen International. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  7. ^ Sharf, Zack (February 19, 2019). "The Souvenir' Trailer: Discover the Power of Joanna Hogg's Sundance Darling". IndieWire. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  8. ^ "The Souvenir". Curzon Artificial Eye. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  9. ^ "The Souvenir (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  10. ^ "The Souvenir Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  11. ^ Lodge, Guy (January 28, 2019). "Film Review: 'The Souvenir'".
  12. ^ "The 50 best films of 2019". Sight & Sound. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  13. ^ Debruge, Peter (February 2, 2019). "Sundance Winners: 'Clemency,' 'One Child Nation' Take Top Honors". Variety. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  14. ^ Dalton, Ben (October 30, 2019). "'The Personal History Of David Copperfield', 'Wild Rose' head 2019 BIFA nominations". Screen Daily. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  15. ^ Lewis, Hilary (December 3, 2019). "'The Irishman' Named Best Film by National Board of Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  16. ^ Grater, Tom (December 17, 2019). "'The Souvenir', 'The Irishman', '1917' Lead London Critics' Circle Film Award Nominees". Deadline. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  17. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 21, 2019). "Spirit Award Nominations: A24 Leads For 4th Straight Year With 18 Noms As 'Uncut Gems' & 'The Lighthouse' Come Up Big". Deadline. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  18. ^ Fond, Rebecca (May 20, 2017). "Cannes: Robert Pattinson to Star in Two-Part Film 'The Souvenir'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  19. ^ Erbland, Kate (June 11, 2019). "Robert Pattinson Drops Out of 'Souvenir' Sequel Due to Scheduling Conflicts — Exclusive". IndieWire. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  20. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (January 23, 2019). "A24 Lands NA Rights To 'The Souvenir' Sequel as First Film Is Poised for Sunday Sundance Premiere". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  21. ^ Erbland, Kate (May 17, 2019). "Joanna Hogg Teases 'The Souvenir 2,' Which Won't Be Ready for Sundance 2020". IndieWire. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  22. ^ Elliot, Rosanna (May 16, 2019). "Movie starring Robert Pattinson to film in Norfolk". Retrieved May 16, 2019.

External links[edit]