Supernova (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Drama, Romance
Director: Harry Macqueen
Distributor: Cinéart
Duration: 90 minutes

Supernova (DVD) – Movie Review

Site Score
Good: Sad but poignant storytelling, Amazing acting performances
Bad: A bit slow at times
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(1 votes)
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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Supernova had its world premiere at the San Sebastián International Film Festival in 2020 and is actor Harry Macqueen’s second movie taking the wheel as a writer and director. Winning Best Feature at the European Film Awards and being short-listed for two BAFTA awards, means the movie is doing quite well for an indie production, and we were also quite excited to check it out now that it has been released on DVD. A heartbreaking journey into love, death, and dementia, Supernova will make you laugh and cry – hopefully at the same time.

The movie follows Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci), two middle-aged men who have been in a relationship for over twenty years. Both enjoy the great outdoors and are amateur astronomers, so when they depart their home to visit relatives for a family reunion, they do so by campervan and make an impromptu road trip out of it. Tusker was diagnosed with early-onset dementia and is struggling greatly with the consequences of this disease. He is trying to finish writing a book before his ability to write gets taken from him, but he is also refusing to show his progress to his partner. Meanwhile, Sam is trying to support Tusker as best as he can while coping with his own stress surrounding an important concert he’ll soon perform in. Both men will have to face the reality of Tusker’s disease to accept it, and the effects it has on them and their relationship.

Supernova is a romantic drama with quite a bit of humor. The storytelling is heart-wrenching, as the subject matter isn’t the easiest to digest, though it’s always presented in a deep, down-to-earth fashion. To balance this out, our main couple has plenty of moments simply bickering or being sweet together, which is much-needed to carry this experience to the finish line. The movie does veer into almost being a bit melodramatic at times, and like most indie productions, the flow can be too slow and a few scenes drag on too long. But overall it’s a really well-written plot with decent dialogue. The story is predictable, but in a way that makes sense, and makes it feel more realistic.

The acting really is one of this movie’s highlights, which is not a surprise when your main characters are being played by two well-established and talented actors. Tucci and Firth have great chemistry, both in the more lighthearted moments, as well as the more dramatic ones. They make it painfully easy to believe the characters are in a deep, caring relationship, which is really what the movie needs to tug on your heartstrings. Supernova wouldn’t be half as engaging if Sam and Tusker were played by anybody else. The supporting cast also puts down a very solid performance.

In terms of cinematography, it should be mentioned that they did a great job. It feels like the writer quite deliberately chose a road trip element for a major part of the movie because it takes every opportunity to show off the beautiful British countryside this movie was shot at. For bonus features, the DVD release comes with an in-depth interview with Macqueen, Tucci, and Firth. If you’re the type of person who wants to know more about the thought processes that went into developing a movie and its story, this is a very interesting watch too, though it doesn’t have any subtitles for some reason.


Supernova is a movie that can only be described as painful, both in how it confronts us with the realities of dementia and death; and in how its realism makes it almost too easy to picture ourselves in the main characters’ shoes. Luckily, funnier moments keep the movie from becoming too depressing to watch, and the acting is spectacular. The slow pacing of the movie (especially near the start) drags it down occasionally, but overall you’ll be glad you watched. We can easily recommend this one to anyone in the mood to watch something more serious.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Supernova (DVD) - Movie Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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