Los Angeles Times

Discoveries from the past with Joanna Hogg and Honor Swinton Byrne in 'The Souvenir'

For most audiences in the U.S., the new film "The Souvenir" will make for not one but two major discoveries. One is the raw, emotional performance by its 21-year-old star in her first significant screen role. The other is its 59-year-old writer-director making her fourth feature film.

The film is about a young woman (Honor Swinton Byrne) in early 1980s London, hesitantly moving toward self-discovery and struggling to find her artistic voice in film school. She meets an older man named Anthony (Tom Burke), a seeming sophisticate with an air of intrigue, and soon he is staying in her apartment and they are locked in a tempestuous, all-consuming relationship. Along the way, she gains a newfound strength and sense of self.

The story is based on the experiences of filmmaker Joanna Hogg and a

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