Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci play couple dealing with dementia in ‘Supernova’

supernova movie gay drama stanley tucci colin firth gay couple
Photo: Madman Films

Highly anticipated gay drama Supernova, starring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci as long-term partners, is in Australian cinemas this week.

The film follows Tusker (Tucci) and Sam (Firth) as they travel across country in an old RV visiting old friends and places from their past. The couple make the road trip after Tusker receives an early-onset dementia diagnosis.

The two men have been together for 20 years however the illness tests their relationship like never before.

“They’ve given up jobs and put plans on hold. Their time together is now the most important thing they have,” the synopsis explains.

In the film, Tusker asks his partner, “If you have one wish, what would it be?” Sam replies, “I wish this holiday would never end.”

Tusker tells his partner, “I want to be remembered for who I was, not for who I’m about to become.”

Writer/director Harry Macqueen said the movie grew from a chance meeting with a real-life former colleague who received the same diagnosis.

Over the year they worked together, her outgoing personality disappeared and she became withdrawn, angry and difficult to be around.

She was then dismissed from her job. Later, Macqueen would meet her again, her husband pushed her in a wheelchair.

“I found out subsequently she had young-onset dementia,” he recalled.

“I realized I had been watching her life unravel because of this condition for the best part of a year, although I didn’t know what it was.

“As a human rather than a filmmaker, both of those experiences made me want to learn more about how it affects people.

“I was deeply moved by those experiences. I was also very interested in end-of-life choices and what rights are afforded to us at the end of our lives.

“It was the meshing of those two things that really was the seed from which Supernova grew.”

Supernova is about the ‘universality of love’

Writer/director Harry Macqueen explained a supernova “is the massive explosive event at the end of the evolution of a star.”

“For me this has always been representative of Tusker himself. [He’s] a man who shines bright in all he does, brings light and laughter to almost every situation and is, of course, dying,” he said.

“It’s quite literal in that regard, really. He knows his final chapter is just around the corner.”

Macqueen said Supernova is ultimately “a story about the universality of love.”

“To frame the experience that the characters are going through in the context of a same-sex relationship, and for that sexuality to be ultimately irrelevant to the story they were facing, did feel like an important thing to do,” he said.

“I wanted to normalize what is, of course, a very natural and normal thing, because I don’t think it’s done enough in cinema.”

Supernova is opening in Australian cinemas from April 15. Watch the trailer below:

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