New York Magazine

An Education

A young film student falls for an older dud in The Souvenir.
Honor Swinton Byrne and Tom Burke.

THE SOUVENIR

DIRECTED BY JOANNA HOGG.

A24. R.

THE BRITISH writer-director Joanna Hogg has the courage of her incoherence. Her scaffolding is shaky and her vantage often oblique. She cuts from foggy panoramas to tight close-ups with no evident pattern. You can never anticipate her next shot or even if she’ll linger in the same time and place. (Maybe she’ll jump ahead a couple of days.) Because she rarely moves the camera, you might well feel marooned with people you don’t know for reasons you don’t understand. Are her actors improvising? Sometimes they seem to be fumbling along with their characters, headed down irrelevant byways. But unfocused she’s not. At her best—which is more often than you can imagine—Hogg convinces you

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