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MOVIES: Supernova - Review (LFF 2020)

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Harry MacQueen’s tender road-trip romance opens with Donovan and David Bowie on the soundtrack so naturally I was all in from the start. With touches of humour we are introduced to the bickering couple of Sam and Tusker, who have spent the past twenty years together and have decided to go on a road trip across England in their RV visiting old friends. They’re clashing right from the start over little things like Satnavs, with the monotone voice of the machine being compared to the Margaret Thatcher with an Iron Rule. So, it came as a surprise that Supernova left me as emotionally broken as it did by the end, giving way to a powerful rollercoaster where it's only a matter of time before the tears start to flow.

Colin Firth is excellent here, the acting veteran putting in one of the best performances of his career alongside Stanley Tucci. Both men are so good at what they do by now and you completely buy their relationship as a couple, and their chemistry is apparent and instantly believable. Supernova feels human and instantly real – exploring how profound a statement love can be and the barriers in place that tear it down around us. It gives way for a tapestry of rich emotions and feelings that become more apparent as Supernova progresses, keeping itself relatively low-key and quiet for most of its runtime with a simple plot that rarely goes beyond a whimper. But unlike most larger movies where a whimper would be a bad thing, the sombre pace really suits Supernova perfectly, it’s quiet and reflective as they come.

Every emotional beat lands in Supernova and MacQueen’s script allows the two actors to feel completely at ease. The short ninety-three minutes never feels too long, just long enough for audiences to get the feeling that we’ve known these characters as long as they have known each other.

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