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Parents' Guide to

The Souvenir: Part II

By Stefan Pape, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Well-performed drama about grief has smoking, sex, language.

Movie R 2021 106 minutes
The Souvenir: Part II Poster Image

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This worthy follow-up to writer and director Joanna Hogg's 2019 movie, cements her as one of the most impressive voices in contemporary British cinema. The Souvenir: Part II is a distinctly personal, semi-autobiographical affair. It is almost overwhelming in how intelligently devised it is. Wickedly meta, the movie plays on the conventions of traditional storytelling. Julie -- played once again by the impressive Swinton Byrne -- effectively retells the story from part one of the The Souvenir through her student filmmaking project. As such, the movie works as a film about grief, but also as a really shrewd insight into the world of filmmaking and filmmakers.

Hogg must also be commended for bringing out such an array of subtle and naturalistic performances, each character so searingly authentic. None more so than Swinton Byrne's real-life mother, Tilda Swinton, who reprises her role as Julie's mother, Rosalind. Then there's the brilliant character of Patrick, again hilariously portrayed by Richard Ayoade. A firm highlight from the first film, his inclusion -- which is lengthier and even funnier than what came before -- certainly feels like Hogg was giving the fans what they wanted. As a fan, all we can say here is thank you. Now give that man a spin-off.

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