Film Review – Supernova

Supernova (M)

Directed by: Harry Macqueen

Starring: Colin Firth, Stanley Tucci

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review by: Julian Wright

Grab a hanky because this film about facing mortality and letting go of loved ones is going to test the tear ducts.

Pianist Sam (Colin Firth) and author Tusker (Stanley Tucci) are road-tripping in their camper van throughout the English countryside visiting friends, family and scenic locations that have significance in their relationship.

But this is more than just a simple trip down memory lane and a chance for some R and R before Sam kicks off a career comeback concert – it is a chance for the couple to spend precious quality time together before Tusker’s dementia takes hold.

Right now it is mostly under control, with Tusker still able to keep up his witty banter with his partner, but simple daily tasks tend to be a struggle. Sam is willing to be Tusker’s carer, but he also must come to terms with a future in which Tusker does not know who he is.

This melancholic exploration of an illness and how it impacts not only the person who has it but their loved ones is a bittersweet tear jerker that manages to avoid syrupy sentimentality. Writer/director Harry Mcqueen has created a quiet, sensitively handled yet devastating film with characters that actually feel real.

Handing the lead roles to Firth and Tucci was a genius move. They have such a great, genuine chemistry that they look, sound and feel like they have been a couple for years. It is one of the best cinematic pairings in recent memory.

A visual bonus is the stunning locations captured with postcard perfection by Dick Pope. The scenery leaves as much a lasting impression as the terrifically understated performances by the two leads.

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