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Supernova

7/10

Stars: Colin Firth, Stanley Tucci

Director: Harry Macqueen

Exquisitely performed by the two stars, Tucci especially, this is a big weepie about a devoted gay couple, pianist Sam (Firth) and writer Tusker (Tucci) who are devastated when, in late middle age, Tusker begins to suffer from (probably vascular) dementia.

They embark on a holiday together in their caravan, driving through the Lake District to see old friends.

Proceedings are a little slow, and the director tends to dwell on the (admittedly lovely) scenery, but the performances of the stars and their portrait of shared devotion, lights the film from within, and prevents it from becoming a maudlin trudge towards tragedy.

Not that there aren't a few lighter moments, as when they share a small double bed at the house of Sam's sister (Pippa Haywood) and Sam falls out.

Tusker - great name - knows he is deteriorating fairly rapidly, after more or less holding the affliction at bay for two years, and has been unable to finish a last book, as his writing becomes illegible. And Sam has given up concerts to be with him as much as possible. 'You're still the guy I fell in love with,' he protests. 'No I'm not,' replies Tusker. 'I just look like him.'

Their scenes together are written with care and literacy and form the backbone of a film that, while hardly likely to cheer you up, never becomes a bore.

David Quinlan

UK 2020. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Technicolor.
95 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 27 Feb 2021