Supernova is another example of an excellent movie which may not be for everyone.
This is especially the case if anyone you know has been diagnosed with early onset dementia.
Like The Father, which is also showing in Australian cinemas, the acting is brilliant but the story is, at times, heartbreaking.
Supernova tells of novelist Tusker (Stanley Tucci) and musician Sam (Colin Firth), a middle-aged gay couple who have been together for over 20 years. Yet their life as they know it is changing forever.
Tusker has been diagnosed with early onset dementia and is fully aware of his prognosis. Already he is experiencing periods of forgetfulness and disorientation. He also loses words and becomes confused. Sam is also aware of what the future holds and is dealing with the symptoms and impact of Tusker’s condition.
Tusker arranges for he and Sam to take a road trip across England to the Lakes District in their old campervan. The ultimate aim, he claims, is for Sam to play in his first piano recital in a long time, a recital Tusker has pushed him into.
Tusker’s plan also includes visiting places associated with their past and staying with Sam’s sister Lil (Pippa Haywood).
Unbeknown to Sam, Tusker has organised a surprise party for Sam at Lil’s house, which includes a number of their friends. The dinner is one of several very poignant moments in the movie. Both men are clearly still in love and are very much loved by family and friends. It’s here Sam also makes a shocking discovery which results in him having to make a very hard decision.
There’s no doubting the performances of Tucci and Firth are the highlight of the movie. The chemistry between the two is evident and ensures the credibility of the story.
Tucci’s Tusker is the more outgoing of the two and has the greater sense of humour. He’s also provides the movie’s few light hearted moments, especially when describing their van’s GPS system!
Firth’s Sam is more brooding anxious, melancholy, protective and watchful, which of course is understandable given what the couple are going through. He’s determined to look after Tusker to the very end, no matter what the personal cost.
While the thoughts of both are expressed through words, it’s the looks between the two which are even more revealing. As a result, they make writer/director Harry Macqueen’s movie extremely moving and at times hard to watch.
Supernova releases in Australian cinemas on Thursday April 15.
- movie, reviews
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