Film Review: Supernova (2020)

A gay dementia weepie ought to leave me distraught but despite the presence of Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci, Supernova leaves me cold

“Can you tell that its gotten worse?”

Harry Macqueen’s Supernova clearly had designs on a whole suite of award nominations but overlooked as it was, it has popped up on cinema schedules as an early summer oddity very much in the shadow of The Father. And though it seems tailor-made to tug on the tearducts of voters and audiences alike, I found it surprisingly unaffecting (and I cry at a lot!).

Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth play Tusker and Sam, an irascible but well-suited couple who’ve been together for nigh on 20 years. Tusker’s a novelist and Sam’s a musician but the former’s diagnosis of early-onset dementia has thrown their future into disarray. And as they journey to the Lake District to connect with family and friends, it becomes clear just how much.

But as admirably unsentimental the approach here is, it tips too far into something chilly, its emotional restraint feeling more of a constraint. Something about the dialogue comes across as forced at key moments, as we’re corralled into following the focus on Sam’s prospective experience as the one who survives, without ever really delving into substantive detail. A disappointment. 

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