Supernova Film Review

Supernova is a love story. Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth are excellent in this film, which ostensibly is about a gay couple on a camper van trip in England.

Concert pianist Sam (Firth) does all the heavy lifting for this trip from shopping to driving while novelist Tusker (Tucci) is the planner who hates to use a GPS. However it soon becomes clear that the trip has a deeper meaning for the dual protagonists.

Writer and director Harry McQueen (Hinterland) has set Supernova in England’s Lake District and the cinematography is superb.

In very subtle ways, McQueen lets the audience know that this couple has been together for a long time. Tusker has dementia and Sam is struggling with the realities of Tusker’s illness. The script could easily have tipped into melodrama but McQueen mostly avoids that trap.

One of the most moving scenes in Supernova comes at a party with Sam’s sister and friends when Tusker is unable to read a speech he has written and Sam has to read it for him.

At one point Tusker says, ‘You’re not supposed to mourn someone while they are still alive.’ And that will resonate with many people who are helping relatives through illness. The stages of grief are recognised with Sam in denial and Tusker in acceptance.

The director has used music to great effect. Much of the film has no background music, which allows the audience to concentrate on the drama being played out in front of their eyes. The cinema was deathly quiet, especially during the pivotal scenes near the end of the film. Perhaps the film could have made more of the reality of dementia as it really just skips the surface but the excellent acting by Tucci and Firth elevates it.

The actors make us, as an audience, believe they are a boring old married couple and we go along with it – laughing at the in-jokes and even the slapstick when Firth falls out of the single bed they are sharing.

And that is the essence of Supernova. It has a sad premise but it is not a depressing film. It has a lot of humour, no overt sex scenes and the familiarity of everyday life.

Supernova will be released nationwide on April 15.

About Hazel Broomhead

My name is Hazel and I am a Perth senior!

Originally from Edinburgh in Scotland, my husband and I moved to New Zealand with our children in 1974. As my husband is in the oil business, we moved to several other countries including the Sultanate of Oman, the Netherlands, Singapore, the Philippines, the USA, Russia and Kazakhstan during the next 36 years before retiring to Perth.

We have six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren who live in different parts of the globe – New Zealand, Scotland and Colombia - which makes a great excuse for us to travel and visit.

My career background is in radio and print journalism in Scotland and New Zealand as well as public relations in various other countries.

We love to eat out, walk, travel and enjoy the wonderful lifestyle here in Western Australia.

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