Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci), partners of twenty years, are traveling across England in their old camper van visiting friends, family, and places from their past. Following a life-changing diagnosis, their time together has become more important than ever until secret plans test their love like never before.
Although Harry Macqueen’s newest feature Supernova doesn’t necessarily have the most thrilling and unpredictable story out there regarding dementia, it’s nevertheless a deeply emotional look at what one goes through right before they start to forget who they are and who their loved ones are.
Right from the start of the movie, Tusker is definitely worried about his disease, and understandably so. He is a writer and he greatly enjoys spending his days thinking of new story ideas that he can publish. On top of this, he adores traveling and exploring new places that he has always wanted to see. But above all else, his favorite thing in the whole world to do is to spend time with his long-time partner Sam. They have a deep love for each other that’s practically unspoken.
They never really say “I love you” to each other – they merely feel it. And oftentimes, this type of love can be the grandest of all. To expand beyond words. To have it be a mutual understanding. And that’s what Sam and Tusker have.
So you can probably understand just how grueling it is for Tusker to come to the realization that one day, he will look at the love of his life and not realize who he is anymore. It scares Tusker more than it scares Sam because just the mere thought of not being able to recognize somebody that he spends every single day with is the worst nightmare of all for him.
Along the way, the film can hit you with some exceptionally emotional moments, with one scene in particular towards the ending being incredibly well done. I almost had tears running down my cheeks because of just how raw and hard-hitting it was. This movie doesn’t sugarcoat anything about dementia. It presents the depressing facts about it and does a really great job at showcasing what one’s life would be like right before everything starts to go downhill.
And what better actors to pick for the roles of Sam and Tusker than Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci, respectively – they have been friends in real life for twenty years, so obviously, their chemistry in this film simply cannot be faked. You can tell that these two were meant for their roles.
I do really wish that Supernova threw a bit more curveballs toward its viewers, though. I’ve talked to a couple of people that enjoyed the movie, but they said that they could predict the ending quite early on, and it’s easy to see how. But gratefully the movie doesn’t rely on its ending in order to be an engrossing movie. It’s an emotional journey of one man’s life as he accepts his depressing and unfortunate fate.
Overall Grade: B+
MPAA Rating: R for language
Directed by: Harry Macqueen
Distributed by: StudioCanal
Release Date: January 29, 2021
Running Time: 93 minutes