Supernova Movie Review
The dementia/Alzheimer’s subgenre persists with Supernova, a touching drama that thankfully defies the standard trappings of similarly themed stories. Starring Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth, the movie follows a couple who go on what could be their final holiday together.
What separates Supernova from other movies like it is that it remains laser-focused on a few days of the lives of these two men, and is uninterested in tiresomely depicting the cognitive decline of the inflicted. Rather, the movie is about two people who love each other, who are looking to say goodbye in any way they can before things get worse.
Tucci delivers a terrific performance as Tusker, a man who knows he has something worse than a death sentence. Diagnosed with early onset dementia, he has accepted that he will soon be an empty shell of who he used to be; his husband, Sam (Firth), is in partial denial, desperate to hold onto the past and frightened to death of what is to come. Together, they have ventured into the countryside to be together and see old friends, a trip through memory lane before the memories become a curse.
Written and directed by Harry Macqueen, Supernova showcases moments of confusion, but rarely dwells on the physical depictions of dementia. Thankfully, Macqueen lets Firth and Tucci let their talents shine, the two actors bringing to life a dynamic, fluid, and intimate relationship that quickly convinces you they have loved each other for years and are preparing, in their own way, for the end. The movie is somber yet endearing, powerful but not melodramatic, a testament to quality writing and two actors at the top of their game.
There’s nothing riveting about Supernova, and yet the movie’s many nuances, its devotion to simple moments, permit it to thrive in its own way. Recommended.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.