Supernova review: Heartbreaking take on dementia sees Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci shine

3 min


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Supernova is the latest movie from young actor-turned-director Harry Macqueen. The drama stars Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci as a couple who are forced to confront the devastating truths of early on-set dementia, in a drama which sees them shine like the stars they are.

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Supernova cements Macqueen’s place as a filmmaker to watch as the film, based on his screenplay and directed by him, sees two stars collide in a devastating drama.

Sam (played by Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci) are making their way cross-country in an RV for a concert, in which Sam is to return to the stage as a pianist.

From their discussions, Sam is reluctant as he wishes to spend as much time as possible with Tusker, his long-term partner, as he can see Tusker’s health is deteriorating.

After some squabbling and antics at a roadside diner, it is clear Tusker is dealing with early on-set dementia, and is slowly becoming less able to remember and keep hold of his autonomy.

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Supernova review: Heartbreaking take on dementia sees Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci shine

Supernova review (Image: BBC)

Supernova review: Heartbreaking take on dementia sees Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci shine

Sam and Tusker in Supernova (Image: BBC)

Sam, the British stoic, attempts to hold things together as well as possible, taking private moments in the bathroom to express his emotions while trying to stay strong for the both of them.

Tusker, meanwhile, is making his own decisions about what he wants his life to become, all of which comes to a head as the film progresses.

Their relationship is completely true: there is no moment where there are any doubts these two are in love and are utterly devoted to one another.

For Sam, he is willing to leave behind whatever career goals or aspirations he may have to support Tusker, while Tusker is utterly unwilling to become a burden to his beloved.

Supernova review: Heartbreaking take on dementia sees Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci shine

Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci in Supernova (Image: BBC)

Supernova review: Heartbreaking take on dementia sees Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci shine

The poster for Supernova, from director Harry Macqueen (Image: BBC)

It is a story, sadly, many are forced to confront in their own lives, and it is brought to the screen in a truly breathtaking way.

The love they have for one another is the bedrock of the drama, with visits to Sam’s sister (Pippa Haywood) and their various interactions with others becoming the frame around their story.

However, it is the picture of love, dedication and unending pain which is the main focus, all resting on the fantastic performances from the leading men.
For both Firth and Tucci, while their talent is well-known, they bring something fresh and new to the drama.

Tucci’s Tusker is witty, sometimes quite naughty, but trying desperately to face his affliction head on, thinking as rationally as possible in the face of great pain.

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Meanwhile Firth’s Sam is truly a man torn between the love for his partner and the fear of growing to resent him as time goes on, while desperately seeking ‘the right thing’ to do.

Their performances are the anchor for the film, with Harry Macqueen’s beautifully shot countryside and starry skies reminding us all how, when our stories seem small, they can be catastrophic and magnificent to us.

All in all, this simple, heartbreaking tale of love will leave you blubbering in your seat, yet hopeful of the way we, as mere humans in a vast supernova, are able to love.

Supernova is released in cinemas on November 27


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