Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci are two of the finest Oscar nominated, winning in Firth’s case, actors working today. Many know Firth from his roles in Kingsman, Bridget Jones and his academy award winning role in The Kings Speech, and many will know of Tucci from his roles as Caesar Flickerman in The Hunger Games or perhaps his academy award nominated role in Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones. The pair have worked together previously in 2012’s Gambit and the 2001 TV movie Conspiracy, however, it’s not until now that these two have had the opportunity to act together more intimately.
Supernova is written and directed by Harry McQueen and tells the story of a Pianist named Sam (Firth) and his partner and novelist, Tusker (Tucci). Tusker has dementia to which Sam cares for religiously and the pair embark on a camper-van trip to see old friends and attend a piano recital Sam is set to perform. Supernova is the very definition of a tear-jerker as Harry McQueen brings a heart breaking tale beautifully to life with the help of two acting greats.
(Writer, Director Harry McQueen)
Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci deliver perhaps the best performances of their collective lives in Supernova. Tucci is exceptional as a dementia patient trying to impart his wisdom and say goodbye, whilst Firth shines as the desperate partner trying to do all he can to keep the love of his life with him. However, these performances wouldn’t be so if it wasn’t for the outstanding writing and directing of Harry McQueen.
McQueen writes dialogue straight from the heart that somehow never dips into the melodramatic. In this way the film echoes my favorite film, Spike Jonze’s Her, as you can truly feel what McQueen has experienced, through the beautiful way in which he writes of a couple living with dementia. Not only this, but McQueen directs the film so intimately, predominately focusing on moments where Sam and Tusker are alone together. McQueen invests completely in these characters and has made a film in which we inevitably do the same.
Overall, Supernova is a beautifully heart-breaking film that is my favorite film of the 64th London Film Festival. With career best performances from Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth, thanks in large part to Harry McQueen’s emotionally raw script and intimate, less is more directorial approach, Supernova is a masterpiece in simulating authenticity on the big screen. I couldn’t recommend this film more, however I do advise you keep the tissues at the ready.
Supernova is set to hit UK cinemas on November 27th, in the meantime check out my interview with writer director Harry McQueen tomorrow at 12pm.