A heartbreaking look at the emotional toll that comes with accepting mortality, Supernova is an enriching ode to the power of love that beautifully captures the soul-deep devotion of its characters’, rendered superbly by stars Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci.

It is deep Autumn and Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci), partners of twenty years, are on holiday. They are travelling across England in their old campervan visiting friends, family and places from their past. Since Tusker was diagnosed with young-onset dementia two years ago their lives have had to change. Jobs have been given up and plans put on hold.

Their time together is now the most important thing they have. As the trip progresses, their individual ideas for their future begin to collide. Secrets are uncovered, private plans unravel and their love for each other is tested like never before. Ultimately, they must confront the question of what it means to love one another in the face of Tusker’s irreparable illness.

Official Trailer: Supernova

Thursday 15th April

94 min


Colin Firth, Stanley Tucci, Pippa Haywood, Sarah Woodward, James Dreyfus, Tina Louise Owens

Harry Macqueen


Pentridge Cinema, Palace Balwyn, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Brighton Bay, The Kino, Palace Westgarth, Palace Norton Street, Palace Central, Palace Verona, Palace Byron Bay, Palace James St, Palace Barracks, Palace Electric Cinema, Palace Raine Square

Reviews: Supernova


"The melancholy pleasures of Supernova are entirely derived from getting to watch Firth and Tucci onscreen…."

- New York Magazine

"There’s so much truth and compassion embedded in this entire production."


"Tucci and Firth have never been better than they are here, and they earn every superlative that has been laid on them in early reviews."

- Washington Post

IS Supernova the right title for an exquisite movie about a profound love and a devastating loss on the brink of merging as one forevermore?

Probably not. There is certainly no sign of the "powerful and luminous stellar explosion" referred to in the most popular definitions of the word.

All that will be documented by Supernova is a gradual, inevitable dying of the light.

As the movie begins, the warm glow given off by the love that has evolved between longtime partners Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci) is immediately there for all to see.

The pair continually bicker, joke, tease, castigate and compliment using a conversational shorthand that only the closest couples can ever hope to share.

However, it is not long before we come to understand the raw flame generating that warm glow is beginning to flicker unpredictably. There is a chance – a real chance – that the flame may suddenly be extinguished. And the darkness to follow will only engulf one of them.

Tusker, a renown novelist, is experiencing an ever-widening suite of symptoms that can only point to the one, irreversible diagnosis of full-blown dementia.

Sam, a concert pianist, has already paused his career to look after the love of his life. But has he faced up to the full implications of what is about to happen?

As we get deeper into the rural road trip that forms the storytelling spine of Supernova, it becomes clear despite his condition and the cruel tricks it is already beginning to play on his mind, Tusker has already arrived at a place of peace with his fate. All he wants now is for Sam to join him there.

There will be some prospective viewers of Supernova who may feel hesitant about making tracks for the movie right away because of its heavy subject matter (particularly after the release only last week of Anthony Hopkins’ The Father, another production charting the ominous onset of dementia).

While understandable, any reluctance to take in Supernova is misplaced.

The reasons why are twofold. Firstly, the chemistry shared by Firth and Tucci is never less than convincing, and every so often, something more than mere acting. With equal parts heart and humility, the pair deliver one of the great screen couples of recent times.

Secondly, Supernova goes about its business with a subtlety, sophistication and emotional intelligence that is all too rare. Instead of pointing out to us the blatantly obvious, it has us feeling the unbearably true.

LEIGH PAATSCH review from the April 15, 2021 issue of The Herald Sun Digital Edition. To subscribe, visit

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Date/s: Thursday 15th April 2021  -  Saturday 15th May 2021


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