Longtime friends Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci appear as a devoted, middle-aged couple Sam and Tusker in new film Supernova, which has been greeted by rapturous early reviews. The awards buzz has already begun for their performances.
Firth and Tucci play Sam and Tusker, a couple on a road trip revisiting meaningful locations around the Lake District as Tusker declines with early-onset dementia.
Their roles in Supernova were originally meant to be the reverse of what’s on screen, with Firth the dementia sufferer Tusker, but in rehearsal things weren’t quite jelling and they suggested to director Harry Macqueen that they swapped roles. He agreed to try it and suddenly it came to life.
Oscar winner Firth said of the switch: “Harry wanted to test it out. And I think this is testament to the writing, really, which is that once we’d made the decision, I actually grieved the loss of Tusker a little bit. I wanted to play Sam, but I didn’t want to let go of playing Tusker.”
The Guardian reviewer Peter Bradshaw said “lovely, heartfelt performances from Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth carry this intimate movie from actor-turned-film-maker Harry Macqueen”.
Variety said dementia stories can slip into “glib, sudsy melodrama” in the wrong hands. But “British writer-director Harry Macqueen pitches it just right in his delicately heart-crushing sophomore feature… thanks in no small part to the ideally matched star duo of Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci: As a longtime couple figuring out how to live — or not — under dementia’s ever-encroaching shadow, their joint thespian grace and reserve take on an undertow of raging, disorganised despair”.
Supernova will screen at the BFI London Film Festival in October with a UK general release to follow.
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