Supernova (2020)

Like a warm-hearted, gentle cross between “Love Is Strange” and “Still Alice,” this quiet drama following longtime couple Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci on a final roadtrip to meet with friends and family before Tucci succumbs to early-onset dementia is a marvel of tiny moments that feel so real they register like bullet wounds. The chemistry between Firth and Tucci is lived-in and so warm that you can practically feel their love jumping out from the screen; it’s there from the moment the movie begins and we see them asleep in bed, with a naked Firth comfortably wrapped around Tucci, it’s there in their shared body language (always close, always intimate), and it’s especially there in quiet moments where nothing happens yet the atmosphere is so comfortable you can practically hear their thoughts. All of that makes the inevitable heartbreak and grief of the couple’s situation all the more melancholic, because the audience is as comfortable with Firth and Tucci as they are with each other, and we don’t want them to suffer and part but we know that they must. Firth carries the weight of the world in his mournful eyes, which are as loving as they are sorrowful, while Tucci’s intellectual novelist struggles with an encroaching and certain loss of dignity with grace and determination while oceans of finality gradually overwhelm him. Both deliver some of their best work ever, and they’re blessed with an honest, unflinching yet sensitive screenplay that treats both characters with aching empathy and shared melancholia, resulting in a remarkable character study about the inevitability of death.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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