Review in Brief: The Souvenir: Part II (2021)

Not many indie films get sequels, but Joanna Hogg’s semi-autobiographical drama following grieving film student Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne) was a story that demanded continuation. It’s a compelling tale that will make a profound emotional connection with many, and many more will appreciate the playful way Hogg looks at the filmmaking process and soulful expression through the medium. Hogg has expressed desire to do a musical somewhere down the line, and a scene here where Richard Ayoade’s entertainingly abrasive filmmaker is busy shooting one makes this a particularly enticing prospect. Julie’s frustrated creation of her final graduation film, inspired by her personal life and helping her search for explanations to life’s great unknowns, makes up the majority of THE SOUVENIR II’s runtime to captivating effect, semi-fantastical vignettes and warm domestic interludes with her nice but posh and out-of-touch parents (Tilda Swinton and James Spencer Ashworth) providing added emotional heft along the way. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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