Andrew Haigh’s All Of Us Are Strangers is a devastating watch. Uniquely highly effective and heartbreaking in its story it emerges as probably the most stunning, tender films of 2023 – or 2024 when it’s launched within the UK – and barely I’ve seen a screening of 200 folks moved fully to tears by the top. It was my first movie at this 12 months’s London Movie Competition – and what a strategy to begin; the director following up his understated and underrated Lean on Pete with a movie that pairs up Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal.
The movie opens in an residence constructing the place there may be no one current save for 2 lonely males: screenwriter Adam and the youthful neighbour, Harry; performed by Scott and Mescal respectively. Adam sees Harry exterior of his room after which once more Harry opens the door and asks to be let in, clearly drunk and in want of consolation: and what follows is greatest left unsaid till you watch the movie as a result of to even look on the abstract would give it away. It’s a tough movie to write down a evaluation for with out spoiling in reality; so intricately is its design that even the subtitles introducing among the characters gave the sport up a little bit too early: however what a recreation it’s. All Of Us Are Strangers finds a strategy to maintain you guessing from begin to end about what its endgame is: is it a movie about loneliness? love? The battle of popping out to your mother and father later in life? The battle of not popping out earlier? It’s all of those and none of those on the identical time: a puzzle field of an enigma wrapped inside a thriller.
There’s an important commentary about how there’s no life exterior of London; there’s nothing for Adam within the suburbs and while all his buddies have left him to cool down and have youngsters and have their grandparents take care of them; why would he transfer on the market? He’s queer – London is likely one of the most inclusive locations on this planet. It’s the beating coronary heart of the nation and the nightlife comes alive in All Of Us Are Strangers, the clubbing scenes enable for Adam and Harry to notch up their relationship free of the backwards views of Adam’s mother and father; however cracks are starting to seem within the fairytale a Adam’s partitions begin to break down.
Adam’s life is the principle instigator for the plot as we see him battle with neglecting his duties as a author; listening to Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s The Energy of Love and reflecting on his mother and father – which leads him to hunt them out, unaged – at his childhood house within the London suburbs close to Croydon. They’re happy with him rising up as a author: and Jamie Bell and Claire Foy give it their all. Bell’s efficiency is incredible nevertheless it’s the scenes with Foy and Scott collectively that broke my coronary heart; a shared second across the Christmas desk set to At all times on My Thoughts by the Pet Store Boys could also be the perfect use of that movie.
The soundtrack illustrates this as does the breaking of Adam’s psychological state – the 80s soundtrack is likely one of the greatest Andrew Haigh might have chosen for movie like this. It’s an actual testomony to Foy and Bell’s efficiency that there’s a scene the place a really grownup Adam asks to get within the mattress with them as he’s too afraid they usually oblige isn’t performed as fully foolish – however there are maybe, lingering questions: the ultimate scene is probably the one factor that holds me again from considering “yes, this is perfect” – a little bit too acquainted, perhaps? However nonetheless equally profound and essential storytelling. If there ever wasn’t a doubt that Andrew Scott isn’t top-of-the-line actors presently working – All Of Us Are Strangers units out to show you all fallacious. It does result in one other disadvantage: you do not fairly purchase this as not a Scott or Mescal efficiency; particularly Mescal – he is very a lot clearly himself – which units the movie again ever so barely – when maybe character actors would’ve perhaps labored higher – however there’s a variety of good materials right here, and Mescal’s casting virtually fits the movie’s fairy-tale narrative in any case.
All of Us Are Strangers is scheduled to be launched by Searchlight Footage in the US on 22 December 2023 and in the UK on 26 January 2024.