With Hollywood’s fall release schedule decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic, a British romantic drama about a gay couple on the brink of crisis is picking up global buzz.
Directed by Harry Macqueen, “Supernova” premiered this week at Spain’s San Sebastián International Film Festival, earning glowing reviews for stars Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci. It’s also slated to be screened at the British Film Institute’s London Film Festival next month. But U.S. audiences will have to make do with the movie’s trailer (viewable above) for now.
Firth and Tucci star as Sam and Tusker, who have been a couple for 20 years. Together, they embark on a road trip across northern England and, at one point, are treated to a surprise party hosted by friends. As the group sits down to dinner, Sam reveals that Tusker has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia.
The two men, we discover, have planned their vacation as a final escape before Tusker loses his memory and other health issues take hold. As Tucci’s character declares in one tearjerking scene, “I want to be remembered for who I was, but not for who I’m about to become.”
Early reviews of “Supernova” have been raves, with some critics suggesting the film could become a frontrunner in the upcoming awards season.
The Guardian called it “a drama about love and mortality that is all the more powerful for its restraint,” while The Hollywood Reporter praised its “admirably understated depiction of same-sex romance.” Variety went a step further, suggesting that Firth ― already an Oscar winner for “The King’s Speech” in 2011 ― “may have turned in the performance of his career here.”
Firth and Tucci, who are both straight, have played gay characters in previous films. In 2010, Firth received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of George Falconer, a gay university professor grappling with depression, in Tom Ford’s “A Single Man.” Tucci endeared himself to a generation of would-be fashionistas as Runway editor Miranda Priestly’s right-hand man Nigel in 2006’s “The Devil Wears Prada.”
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