Starring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci and from a screenplay by director Harry Macqueen, Supernova is about love and how it endures. The film follows partners Sam (Firth) and Tusker (Tucci) as they are on a vacation. The duo are travelling across the UK as Sam prepares for a gig in the coming days. Sam and Tusker are having a wonderful time but the shadow of Tusker’s ever-increasing dementia looms over them.
Eventually they discuss what life will be like once he loses everything. They also reminisce about all the wonderful times in their life as they discuss the uncertain future.
What is a Supernova?
Supernova is a beautiful film. In almost every aspect the story gripped me. Director and writer Macqueen’s story is bittersweet and will likely hit many audiences where they live. Macqueen knows how to frame his characters so that when they say nothing at all it still speaks volumes. There are several moments where words are not needed, where you the audience are asked to sit in these moments with the characters and it is quite moving. The opening, for example, is quite beautiful, one by one stars begin to shine and the score rises with their appearance and it’s stellar. Put this image against the fact that one of the lead characters is losing his faculties and there is a genuine sense of melancholy within this film.
On the topic of the characters, Supernova is an intimate affair. Usually, only Sam and Tusker are onscreen and Firth and Tucci are up to the challenge. Their relationship is warm and familiar. I felt like I was watching two human beings who had known each other and been with each other for a very long time.
Firth in particular gave a compelling performance as the man unsure he can take up this challenge. He’ll do it but he has reservations about whether or not he is capable. Meanwhile, you have Tusker who is clearly a man desperately trying to hold onto his stature. He is witty, charming but you can see he is losing it all and as each new scene began I always wondered, is this where he may disappear for a time?
Never stop wondering
Supernova treats its subject matter with respect and though the ending was somewhat clichéd as most films that deal with this subject matter are, it did not diminish my admiration for this film.
On the technical elements of Supernova, it is a visual treat. The countryside of Cumbria is a hidden gem now discovered by this film. The beautiful autumn colours on show are captivating and the clear changing of the seasons to something harsher is an excellent reflection of the narrative. Then there is the score and this is the cherry on top of this tender sundae. I found myself watching with content the beauty of the countryside Sam and Tusker were traversing with a smile on my face as I was treated to the ethereal score.
Supernova is a beautiful film. The narrative becomes clichéd toward the film’s climax but ultimately it didn’t matter. This is a wonderfully tender film brought to life by a phenomenal acting duo.
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