Supernova (2021) Review
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
MORTALITY is a harsh fact of life that all of us must come face-to-face with sooner or later, and Harry Macqueen directs Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci towards chilling performances which perfectly capture the harrowing emotions a couple must persevere through in order to survive this turmoil.
Married couple of 20 years Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci) begin travelling across the awe-inspiring England countryside as a way to escape from Tusker's declining health after being diagnosed with dementia. After visiting their family and friends, the two realise the most important thing they have is each other, leading them to reminisce on their past and struggle to come to terms with their uncertain future.
All eyes were on Anthony Hopkin's melodramatic performance in The Father during Oscars season; a role which the veteran actor excelled in. But this doesn't mean that he was the only person to bring subtlety to such a forthright disease as Tucci does an excellent job at making the audience care about the couple's emotional struggles, with Firth being the poignant yin to Tucci's eccentric yang. The film is carried by their emotive chemistry, and coupled with proficient writing which makes neither character "the bad guy" during a heated argument, this tragic story solidifies Harry McQueen as a director to keep an eye out for considering his relatively-young age of 37.
Primary shooting locations for Supernova were Crummock Water and Keswick; two small market towns in North-West England. These luscious locales provided a sombre ambience which enhanced scenes of the couple taking in the lakeside views as they ponder their respective lives moving forward, realising they have very little time together before dementia consumes Tusker's perception of reality.
While its leisurely pace may put a damper on expectations going in, Supernova excels when it embraces what it is: a slow burn. Firth and Tucci play off each other to create beautiful moments of two men showing their lifelong love for one another, all being paid off not with a bang, but with a whimper as reality comes crashing down on the happy couple. The film's modesty pays off well as Harry Macqueen shines a much-needed light on the devastating effects chance can play on anyone's life, proving that love is something everyone must have in order to survive, and while it cannot prevent the harshest conditions, it can make those calamitous tragedies endurable; a message that all of us must take to heart.