L.The intimate performances of Stanley Tucky and Colin Faith carry this intimate film by actor-film-maker Harry McKinnon, whose 2014 debut, Hinterland also had two hands on love. Tukey and Firth starring Tusker and Sam, a couple who have been together for decades: Tusker is a respected nove panacea and Sam is a musician. (Elth’s Salut d’Amour gives his own perfectly serviceable piano performance, a much more melting moment for his indifference)) Both careers have been put on hold because Tasker has been diagnosed at an early stage – onset dementia.
The couple decided to take their camper van on a trip to the north, to take Sam’s sister and her family, to be together for a while, and perhaps end up with this holiday together. He’s still working on a new book but is immersed in the growing astronomy, staring at the night sky, probably immersed in the unimaginable vastness of space, his problems are nothing compared to that. Is it a new hobby treat, or something that is accelerating his slide into an enchanted space?
Supernovas first reminded me of The Lizard Seeker in my spare time, a series of pictures of Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland walking the last Winnebago road-trip in the shadow of the memory and death of a shaken elderly married couple. But it was humming and sweet: the supernova, for all its occasional heart-pounding and button-pressing, was much more restrained in both relatively quiet and unexpectedly rural shootings of performance. Its bourgeois love is not imposed on us and there is no obvious pathetic objection. There’s a great moment when Sam and Taka unwittingly park for the night in a supermarket car park, whose logo is at least as prominent as a rolling hill.
Tukey and Faith have a sweet and gentle chemistry, their best moment coming when they have to share a bed in Sam’s old room in the family home where their sister is still living. They almost have an Eric-and-Ernie relationship. Elsewhere, McQueen interestingly looks at the established personalities of his top men based on how they have been effective in reflecting or neutralizing complex issues in a variety of ways. Sam of Firth is dry, delicious and beautiful English; Tuki’s Tasker has become quizzically fun and funny as we’ve seen many times before from him – which has turned into an original scene, with his voice trembling at the edge of tears, affecting even more.
The main theme of all the memoirs is the exit strategy: it was the famous painful moment of Richard Glater and Steve Alice in Westmoreland, with Julianne Moore and even more painful in Michael Hannick’s Amur, with Emmanuel Riva falling into turmoil and a stroke.
For Money and Sam, it’s terribly unnecessary – or unknowingly or unimaginable – and when they have to deal with this problem, it’s so painful that none of their shared jokes or shared love can really anesthetize. Whether the film is fully confronted with what it is like for a surviving partner to survive, moment-by-moment, through horrific consequences, is another question. I’m sure it does. However, it is a sincere and influential portrayal of two people who have accepted the story of mortality
Tv ninja. Lifelong analyst. Award-winning music evangelist. Professional beer buff. Incurable zombie specialist.