Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Joel interviews the MIFF team to find out what's in this year's program announcement! Click to listen to our special SWITCHCast ep now.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
Cosmic Sin - A film that delivers on the promise of its title
TRENDINGCOSMIC SINA film that delivers on the promise of its title
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
Who the hell is Bloodshot? - A primer on Vin Diesel's superhero
TRENDINGWHO THE HELL IS BLOODSHOT?A primer on Vin Diesel's superhero
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?
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
The World at War - The landmark documentary series restored in high definition
TRENDINGTHE WORLD AT WARThe landmark documentary series restored in high definition
Malila: The Farewell Flower - Contemplating love and loss
TRENDINGMALILA: THE FAREWELL FLOWERContemplating love and loss
Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two - New villains, same problems
TRENDINGBATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, PART TWONew villains, same problems
Buckley's Chance - Not worth a chance
TRENDINGBUCKLEY'S CHANCENot worth a chance
Calm with Horses - A savage and sensitive Irish crime drama
TRENDINGCALM WITH HORSESA savage and sensitive Irish crime drama
Shiva Baby - A comedy of discomfort
TRENDINGSHIVA BABYA comedy of discomfort
The Glass Room - Stunning yet soulless
TRENDINGTHE GLASS ROOMStunning yet soulless
Some Kind of Heaven - A bizarre lens into a Floridian retirement village
TRENDINGSOME KIND OF HEAVENA bizarre lens into a Floridian retirement village
25 Free-to-Watch Short Horror Films - The scariest shorts we uncovered online
TRENDING25 FREE-TO-WATCH SHORT HORROR FILMSThe scariest shorts we uncovered online
The Swallows of Kabul - Unflinching and gorgeously animated
TRENDINGTHE SWALLOWS OF KABULUnflinching and gorgeously animated
Cerulean Blue - Promising debut for a new voice in Australian cinema
TRENDINGCERULEAN BLUEPromising debut for a new voice in Australian cinema
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
2:22 - Mind-bending metaphysical mumbo-jumbo
TRENDING2:22Mind-bending metaphysical mumbo-jumbo
Birds of Prey - I'm here to report a terrible crime: DC has saved cinema
TRENDINGBIRDS OF PREYI'm here to report a terrible crime: DC has saved cinema
La Dolce Vita - Not as sweet as you'd think 60 years on
TRENDINGLA DOLCE VITANot as sweet as you'd think 60 years on
© 2011 - 2021 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us!