The Souvenir: Part II

The Souvenir: Part II ★★★★★

It's a movie very hard to judge on its own, but not to its detriment; how Parts I and II come together is a lot to think about. I enjoyed how the sequel both leaned hard into continuity (by continuing the stories of many side characters very directly) and differentiated itself formally. Though it didn't feel personally necessary in the sense that much of it was already in line with how I interpreted the first film, I also found it interesting how heavily Part II was about how its predecessor should be read.

The central story, a literal re-enactment of Part I, was a very clever way to work in a lot of explicit conversation about what all of it meant, but it also made for a nice arc about slowly bringing the autobiographical interpretation closer and closer to the text until it was all that existed. The emergence of the author persona as the culmination of Julie's growth – good stuff.

I may not have a lot more to say about the film, or the project on the whole. Why it's good is obvious, but why it's sublime is harder to articulate; a lot of it is in the intricacies of every scene, of every performance, of every detail. I cannot explain why some of the side characters made such a strong impression on me, or why Julie's apartment instantly became one of the most memorable locations I have seen in any film. It's just good.

P.S. I want Julie's stuffed toy lion but every Google search like "The Souvenir lion plush" just brings up pages of gift shops!! Fuck!!! Hey A24 this is literally the only merch of your movies that I would buy, drop it now cowards

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