“Imagine having the balls to craft a follow-up to a personal film that's even more richly solipsistic and minutiae-laden than 2019's The Souvenir -- well, Joanna Hogg's done that with the second half of her unsentimental, darkly hilarious study of a young woman's creative and sexual coming-of-age in Thatcher's Britain. Honor Swinton Burne -- real-life college student and daughter of Hogg's BFF Tilda Swinton -- plays film student Juliet with the kind of naturalness and searching intelligence that every film journalist is insisting Kristen Stewart has; in a just world, Swinton Burne would be a clear contestant for the year's top acting awards. But I suspect both she and Hogg are chasing something more elusive. It is so very difficult to dramatize any creative process in a movie and have the viewer give a shit, let alone portray a young woman not yet fully formed, trying to chisel herself into being using unfamiliar tools. Not since Jane Campion's An Angel at My Table (still Campion's best film, I reckon) have I seen any film that manages to capture the hems and haws of self-doubt and the miniature-scale megalomania that must overtake the female artist-in-training. How does the nice young woman conditioned by her upbringing to be gracious and obliging with her "thank you's" and "sorry's" absorb a bit of ruthlessness? The long tail of Juliet's ill-fated obsession with posh-mannered druggie Anthony (Tom Burke), the storyline which gobbled up most of Part 1, manifests itself in Juliet's Part 2 amorous, creative and material choices (note the suddenly fancy clothes), and ultimately in the making of her thesis film where those amorous, creative and material choices all come together. It doesn't matter how clumsy or how awkwardly ambitious that film is. What's at stake is how we've watched Juliet learn to spin experience into work. She's on her way, even if -- informed as we are by Hogg's own journey as a filmmaker -- it'll be a long, hard road ahead.”

Sandi Tan on The Souvenir