Director Harry Macqueen: “sorry/not sorry” that Supernova makes audiences cry

One of the biggest hits from 2020’s online version of the London Film Festival finally arrives in cinemas this week – and director/writer Harry Macqueen feels  “deeply lucky and privileged” that it’s getting a theatrical release. But, having heard from a friend that “there wasn’t a dry mask in house” when Supernova made its debut last year, he admits he’s only slightly sorry that the film is likely to have the same effect on audiences all over again.

In what is a near-two hander, pianist Sam (Colin Firth) and writer Tusker (Stanley Tucci) are partners who have been together for some 20 years. Tusker has been diagnosed with early onset dementia, so the two decide to take a holiday in the countryside in their old RV, visiting friends and family and renting an idyllic cottage for some peace and quiet. It allows them to visit favourite places from their past, reminisce with those closest to them and face what the future may bring.

The result is a film that’s essentially a love story with dementia as the context. Talking to The People’s Movies’ Freda Cooper, Macqueen describes it as “very romantic – a love story and an elegy” and says that his experience as an actor has made him interested in an intimate look at relationships, with the result that Supernova comes close to having just two characters.

They’re played by Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci, who originally met while making Conspiracy some 20 years ago. For Macqueen, the fact that the two know each other so well “adds an extra layer of authenticity and emotional depth” to the relationship we see on the screen.

Supernova is released in cinemas on 25th June.
Read our London Film Festival review of the film here.