Dealing with the effects of early onset dementia, Tusker and his partner Sam venture across country in an RV to visit loved ones, while spending quality time with one another. Though the trip is a bittersweet one, as it teaches both of them how to honor their life together and prepare to say goodbye. Written and directed by Harry Macqueen, Supernova is a gripping story about love and how to deal with grief from a different perspective. With incredibly moving performances, the film is one that will tug at your heart and bring you to tears.
After 20 years of partnership, Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci) are dealt a difficult hand when the latter is diagnosed with early onset dementia. With his condition getting worse, the two set out on a roadtrip to visit friends and family, while enjoying what may be their last big adventure together.
Tusker maintains his sense of humor for the most part, but almost at the dismay of his partner. It is clear that Sam is taking the diagnosis much harder than he lets on. Though he tries to remain strong, the fear of witnessing the man he loves lose himself—and the reality of losing him—begins to overwhelm. But it’s their equal desires to protect one another from that pain that creates a beautiful, yet crushing, story.
Inspired by Macqueen‘s own experience with Alzheimer’s patients, Supernova offers an emotional look at grief with regards to cognitive diseases. It explores the disconnected aspect of mourning a person when they’re still with us. How the immediate sadness is almost too much to bare, but you have to maintain a level of strength for your loved one’s sake. But even further, how the person suffering from the disease has to grieve as well.
There is so much compassion in the films script and the way it tackles this extremely heavy story. Even towards the end when we are given an even more heartbreaking reveal, it feels like it delivers some sense of solace in a way. Of course that is attributed to its writing, but it’s also heavily due to the emotional performances by Tucci and Firth. As close friends in real life, you can feel that connection they have and it makes the story all the more powerful.
Supernova took me a little time to completely digest. It’s a beautiful film with some really touching moments, but in the end, it’s about loss. It makes you reflect and wonder how you’d deal with a similar situation, no matter whose position you’d be in. I recently reviewed another film (Little Fish) that explores this theme as well, and it really does affect you as a viewer. Both films frame the concept in a very empathetic way, which is why they’ll stick with you after the credits roll.
Supernova is currently available On Demand