|Honor Swinton Byrne at her typewriter - The Souvenir|
The plotline follows Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne), a film student from a privileged background who meets Anthony (Tom Burke) an older, somewhat charismatic man who claims to work for the Foreign Office. Anthony seems to be interested in the subject matter of Julie's proposed film on the harsh social situation in England under Thatcher. Unknown to Julie, Anthony is a heavy heroin user which seems to register very little with Julie when the truth is revealed to her. Does she understand the drug scene ? Does she know what heroin is ? She is seemingly unaware throughout this story.
In terms of performance, the blank shopfront mannequin expressions of Swinton Byrne convey very little in meaning and emotion. Tom Burke is a more interesting performance as the foppish conman Anthony however his mannerisms become increasingly irritating. Julie's mother (Tilda Swinton, the real life mother of Honor Swinton Byrne) is wasted by being given a vacuous, unworldly character. All in all, the film looks and feels more like a graduate film student work rather than one for cinema release.