Beaver

Supernova – a sensitive heartbreaking journey ★★★★★

Believe me when I say I don’t think I’ve cried this much over a film in a very long time. Directed by Harry MacQueen, Supernova is a sad and serious endeavour, following the journey of couple Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci). Tusker is struggling with the slow deterioration of his mind and body as a result of dementia. What I love about this film is that it is so far from the overly dramatised films of illness that we are so used to seeing. The film’s beautifully restrained approach discreetly draw you into the story until you are absolutely bawling by the end of the film and didn’t realise the extent of your involvement in the characters’ lives. 

Sam is a musician and Tusker is a writer who is struggling to write his final book as he slowly loses his ability to read and write. The middle-aged couple takes one final trip across the wonderful UK countryside where they stop and gaze at the stars each night. 

Throughout the film, we see Sam and Tusker slowly come to accept the situation and the harsh reality of what lies ahead. MacQueen adopts a fresh approach which allows Firth and Tucci to lead the way, like the cherry on the top of a cinematographic beauty. Their remarkable performances are delivered with such flair that you will remember why the nation fell in love with these two darlings all those years ago. It succeeds because the performances, direction, and screenplay are all so realistic and authentic that it speaks personally to all viewers. 

MacQueen manages to capture the relationship from its most intimate moments to the most challenging arguments that the couple has. The heartache comes from a variety of places: Tusker’s inability to finish his book; Sam accepting the difficulty of looking after his husband and imagining a future without Tusker by his side. MacQueen questions big themes of mortality, love, and companionship and has managed to produce an absolutely beautiful drama that will have you reaching for the tissues and wanting to hug your loved ones. 

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