Releasing earlier this month on VOD, “Supernova” tells the story of queer couple, Tusker and Sam, who embark on a final roadtrip to see their family and friends due to Tusker’s recent diagnosis of early-onset dementia. “Supernova” stars Stanley Tucci as Tusker and Colin Firth as Sam, with directing by Harry Macqueen. Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci’s devastatingly beautiful performances will bring many a tear to your eyes.
The chemistry seen between Sam and Tusker is entirely real as Tucci and Firth have been close friends for over 20 years. In fact, they have helped one another through the most difficult moments of their lives, specifically Firth’s role in comforting Tucci after the death of his first wife.
Stanley Tucci received the offer to play Sam and immediately passed the script on to Colin Firth in hopes that he would join the project with him. However, during the filming, the two realized they were much better suited to play the other’s respective part, and promptly switched roles. The prior friendship that the two actors share definitely rolls over into their characters. In fact, one of the funniest scenes of the movie was completely improvised by Tucci. During this scene, we see Tusker trying to embarrass Sam with a long-running gag that annoys him as Tusker asks unsuspecting bystanders if they would like Sam’s autograph. Moments of playful bickering and joking showcase the couple’s long history together, differing from other film relationships that seem forced.
One of my favorite moments from the film is so simplistic, yet achingly sweet. Sitting in their RV, Tusker listens to Sam’s piano album, while Sam reads Tucker’s novel. This poignant scene shows that after 20 years together, the two still are amazed with one another’s artistic abilities. Scenes like this make the reality of their situation seem all the more grim, as with each passing day, Tusker’s condition worsens. The couple knows that one day, Tusker will no longer be able to recognize his husband, forgetting every single detail of the life they shared together. This love has no bounds as Sam is prepared to spend the rest of his life reminding Tusker of their love.
Unfortunately, the film is unable to distance itself from the ever popular “bury your gays” trope. This trope occurs whenever an LGBTQ+ character is either killed off or diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, much like Tusker in this film. Even though the entire film is basically about Tusker’s disease and worsening condition, there is a sense of foreboding present even in the lightest moments — a foreboding that the life they currently live will soon change drastically. Despite the presence of this destructive trope, the emotional impact of this film benefits from it as each hug, shared smile and soft word means so much more, knowing that one day his husband will no longer remember him. That being said, this trope has become far too prevalent in movies and TV shows with LGBTQ+ characters.
This moving film is definitely a great film to turn to if you’re looking for a good cry or wanting to see a beautiful queer love story. “Supernova” is out now on VOD.