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'Supernova' Review With Casey

Supernova is a heartfelt love story of two married men straining against loss, aging, and time. During a road trip through the countryside of England, one husband struggles to remain strong while the other husband struggles with dementia. 

Prestigious veteran actors Colin Firth (Kingsman: The Golden Circle, 2017) and Stanley Tucci (The Silence, 2019) both give confident relaxed performances combining a begrudging vulnerability with a determined reliance on each other. The simple forthright dialogue might appear ordinary, but it speaks volumes through the subtle emotional depths of each actor's performance. Up-and-coming, British, writer/director Harry Macqueen (Hinterland, 2014) sustains a mood of quiet, gentle, direct yearning that remains successful throughout with long static camera shots, very little music, and a small cast. Do you remember the popular religious phrase, "Love is patient?” Well this film will easily remind you, because its patience is in spades.  


The only issue hurting the impact of Supernova is one that viewers often find the most frustrating: historical context. Yes, Supernova is a moving portrait of contemporary love and loss. But this kind of portrait has been done before with examples like Away from Her (2006), Amour (2012), and The Leisure Seeker (2017). Even the portrait of a loving contemporary relationship that just happens to be a gay one, fighting against the odds of old age or other hardship, is also a portrait viewers have seen before in films like Keep the Lights On (2012) and Love is Strange (2014).


Supernova is a beautifully honest film, and it will break plenty of hearts. But many viewers will feel they have seen it before, because it's likely they have. Of course the historical context should not undermine a film's quality or value. But that's clearly what's happening with Supernova during this award season of 2021.

Casey T. Allen is a native of Utah who graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor's degree in English in 2007. He has worked in many capacities throughout USU campus and enjoys his time at UPR to continually exercise his writing.