Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Click here for a Sydney Film Festival sneak peek with Festival Director Nashen Moodley!x
review, Supernova, Supernova, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Colin Firth, Stanley Tucci, James Dreyfus, Pippa Haywood, Sarah Woodward, Harry Macqueen, Drama, Queer film rating

SUPERNOVA

★★★★

COLIN FIRTH & STANLEY TUCCI'S COMFORTING YET CONFRONTING ROMANCE

MELBOURNE QUEER FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Ashley Teresa
7th March 2021

Colin Firth ('1917') and Stanley Tucci ('The Silence') are not only two of the most celebrated actors of our time, but they're also incredibly close friends. Their 20-year friendship makes the fact they've only just now shared a screen together seem preposterous, but it's also what makes their new film 'Supernova' so special.

Sam (Firth) and Tusker (Tucci) have been together for 20 years, and are now travelling through the English countryside to the home of Sam's sister. They punctuate their RV trip with quippy conversations and musings about their respective careers (Sam is a concert pianist; Tusker is a novelist with a serious case of writer's block). Their trip, however, is a bittersweet one - Tusker is suffering from dementia, and in a series of increasingly painful scenes (which are rote in nature but no less true to the horrors of dementia), it's clear that his condition is deteriorating rapidly.

A film like 'Supernova' lives and dies by the bond between its lead stars. The pairing of Firth and Tucci goes beyond the easy route of throwing two beloved actors together and hoping it's enough to carry an entire film (see: 'Ammonite'): they have a palpable chemistry, comfort and familiarity with each other, which makes Sam and Tusker's relationship feel far more lived in than your average on-screen pairing. It also makes Tusker's choices regarding his own health that much more heartbreaking, as Sam's insistence to be included in his partner's decisions feels earned and not merely something the audience is being told to buy into. It should come as no surprise that both Firth and Tucci are the best they've been in years here, as well as their most cautious. 'Supernova's' restraint in its filmmaking mirrors that of the lead characters, both men intentionally holding back their most explosive emotions so as to not hurt the other. Firth's classic straight-faced gentleman schtick works perfectly here, as Sam's determination to care for Tusker presents as an iron-clad unwillingness to show the toll it's taking on him. Conversely, Tusker is intelligent enough to underplay his condition to not burden the love of his life.

'SUPERNOVA' TRAILER


The film faces the nightmare of mourning a loved one before they've even passed on, and for the most part, these ideas are explored with such tenderness and simplicity that it's impossible for audiences to find something in this film to distract themselves with. 'Supernova' is also stunningly shot by cinematographer Dick Pope ('Motherless Brooklyn'), capturing the beauty of the rolling English hills without veering into the grandiose, and shooting interior scenes with such softness that the film takes on the comfort level of a warm knitted sweater. It's a fitting feel for a film so sweet and patient.

'Supernova' has been hailed in some critic circles as a groundbreaking portrait of a gay relationship, and while I had originally decided to avoid this discourse in my review, I feel like it's worth at least briefly discussing. One of the most refreshing elements of the film is that never - not in a single moment - is Sam and Tusker's relationship viewed as anything other than a normal, loving relationship. Their sexuality is never even addressed as a plot point, and while it's great to see this in an A-list romance, it bothers me that films can still be applauded for such a bare minimum. Tusker's condition is in no way tied to his sexuality, and thus to have painted it as such would be flat out ridiculous, to say the least.

'Supernova' is an experience designed to make your heart swell before shattering it completely.

Unfortunately, the film's most emotional moments are bogged down by a script that has clearly pure intentions, but at times is so underwritten it borders on the cliché. Think of the first thing you'd expect someone with dementia to lament, and you can bet Tusker says it at least once in this film. It's a shame, since Tusker's career should have given way to dialogue far more poignant and original than what we get, particularly in the final act (his RV thoughts in the first half of this film are clear indicators of this), and as a result the film's main conflict gets glossed over a little bit too easily. Writer and director Harry Macqueen (who also stars in the film 'Provenance') is clearly a talented man and trusts Firth and Tucci to sell every moment of this film (they do), but having a little bit more for them to work with would have done wonders.

For a film riding its simplicity this hard, 'Supernova' is still a worthy and patient portrait of every couple's worst nightmare. It serves as a reminder to hold the ones you love tight, in an experience designed to make your heart swell before shattering it completely.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 15/04/2021
RUN TIME: 1h 34m
CAST: Colin Firth
Stanley Tucci
James Dreyfus
Pippa Haywood
Sarah Woodward
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Harry Macqueen
PRODUCERS: Tristan Goligher
Emily Morgan
www.SupernovaMovie.com
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
Heroic Losers - Enjoyable working-class heist hijinks from Argentina
TRENDINGHEROIC LOSERSEnjoyable working-class heist hijinks from Argentina
In The Heights - A dazzling screen adaptation of the modern musical classic
TRENDINGIN THE HEIGHTSA dazzling screen adaptation of the modern musical classic
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
Cosmic Sin - A film that delivers on the promise of its title
TRENDINGCOSMIC SINA film that delivers on the promise of its title
Sydney Film Festival 2021 - Festival Director Nashen Moodley reveals teaser films
TRENDINGSYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2021Festival Director Nashen Moodley reveals teaser films
It Must Be Heaven - A lyrical and absurdist trip around the world
TRENDINGIT MUST BE HEAVENA lyrical and absurdist trip around the world
King Otto - The world plans, and the Greek gods laugh
TRENDINGKING OTTOThe world plans, and the Greek gods laugh
The Perfect Secret - Seven friends with alcohol and secrets - let the games begin!
TRENDINGTHE PERFECT SECRETSeven friends with alcohol and secrets - let the games begin!
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
Wet Woman in the Wind - A sexy struggle for conquest
TRENDINGWET WOMAN IN THE WINDA sexy struggle for conquest
Lion - A raw and powerful journey of identity
TRENDINGLIONA raw and powerful journey of identity
A Guide to Second Date Sex - A quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
TRENDINGA GUIDE TO SECOND DATE SEXA quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
The Void - Filled with gory, stylish horror
TRENDINGTHE VOIDFilled with gory, stylish horror
Jumbo - The ups and downs of an unconventional romance
TRENDINGJUMBOThe ups and downs of an unconventional romance
Asia - Israel's award-winning drama
TRENDINGASIAIsrael's award-winning drama
Golden Voices - Immigration struggles with amusing challenges
TRENDINGGOLDEN VOICESImmigration struggles with amusing challenges
The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale - An extremely silly zomedy
TRENDINGTHE ODD FAMILY: ZOMBIE ON SALEAn extremely silly zomedy
The Land Before Time - 30th anniversary of a breathtaking animated masterpiece
TRENDINGTHE LAND BEFORE TIME30th anniversary of a breathtaking animated masterpiece
xXx: Return Of Xander Cage - The good, the bad and the ugly
TRENDINGxXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGEThe good, the bad and the ugly
© 2011 - 2021 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us!