Directed by: Harry Macqueen – Starring: Colin Firth, Stanley Tucci
In Cinemas Now!
This was actually supposed to be released earlier in the year, but, like so many other movies, its opening date was bumped because of lock-downs. So now it arrives just in time for the end of Pride month, and the traditional Pride weekend (albeit a subdued one this year due to restrictions). This actually seems more appropriate than its original opening date, dealing as it does with the story of a long term gay couple.
Sam (Firth) and Tusker (Tucci), are travelling across England to the Lake District, reuniting with friends and family, before Tusker’s early onset dementia advances. With the end of their relationship hanging over them, thanks to his diagnosis they reach an impasse in their relationship, and come to peace with what lies ahead.
No doubt this is going to start another debate amongst people who say only gay actors should play gay. I’m not going to get into that here, and am merely going to judge the performances on their merits. And they are both wonderful. Both Firth and Tucci bring a real vulnerability to these characters. You find yourself wishing you could just reach out and hug them through the screen. The struggle as both men try to come to terms with mortality is heartbreaking, and both really convey the emotional toll of such a cruel diagnosis.
The fantastic performances are aided by some wonderful cinematography, which takes in some of the most beautiful settings in England, as they embark on their final trip together. The beauty of the scenery is harshly juxtaposed against the ugliness of what the couple are going through.
Although there are moments where this feels a little bit slow, on the whole it is incredibly moving and engaging. It will leave you with a lump in your throat, as there’s no real catharsis. You know how their story will end, and it’s not pretty.
This has awards written all over it, and should definitely pick up a few gongs down the road, but for now it is simply a must-see.
See trailer below: