Supernova

Movie review by
Stefan Pape, Common Sense Media
Supernova Movie Poster Image
Heartfelt love story about dementia has intense content.
  • R
  • 2021
  • 93 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Themes include true love and overcoming life's unforeseen obstacles, together as a couple. Strength, courage, and unconditional support are displayed throughout. Making sacrifices to help others and the importance of communication. Spoiler alert: References to euthanasia and suicide.

Positive Role Models

Both Sam and Tusker are fully rounded and realistic characters -- depicted as flawed and imperfect, but above all, generous and kind. As Tusker suffers from dementia, Sam remains strong for him, and is completely and unconditionally supportive. He makes sacrifices along the way, even to his career, to ensure they spend as much time together as possible before the illness deteriorates. They both represent a very authentic, real love. Their same-sex relationship isn't a narrative device, it's just presented as a matter of fact.

Violence

Two characters grapple each other on the sofa, but their fight doesn't descend into anything more. Some heated arguments between characters, but none are long lasting and are quickly resolved. Spoiler alert: Discussion about euthanasia and suicide.

Sex

Very slight -- non-graphic -- nudity from the side, as a character lies in bed, barely covered by the duvet. Two characters share a sensual kiss in bed.

Language

Occasional swearing, with a few uses of the word "f--k" and "s--t." Also one use of the word "arse." "Jesus" is used as an exclamation.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Character drinks whiskey in the evening. At a house party, the guests are all sat around drinking alcohol, and at the table they all drink wine with their dinner and toast together in a celebratory manner. Discussion about drugs in the context of helping someone end their life.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Supernova is a powerful love story about a couple dealing with early onset dementia, and includes some language and (spoiler alert) references to suicide and euthanasia. Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci) are a loving couple who take a road trip as the two come to terms with Tusker's diagnosis. Their relationship is portrayed as an authentic, unvarnished take on love between two people. But it doesn't shy away from displaying the hardships, sacrifices, and compromises required to make a long-term relationship work. The movie takes an interesting and raw look on death, euthanasia, and suicide, presenting the latter two as options for somebody facing up to a deteriorating illness, which may upset some viewers. There is some use of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as "Jesus" being used as an exclamation. Characters are seen drinking occasionally, but generally in social circumstances and not to excess.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byONTHERUNMOVIES April 21, 2021

Intimate and heart wrenching

Very slow, nuanced “road” movie that explores friendship, love, commitment, death and dying, and what living means in the face of a serious illness that devasta... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bySussyBaka87 January 23, 2022
Teen, 14 years old Written byTheT1000 February 9, 2021

What's the story?

SUPERNOVA tells the story of Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci) who together are coming to terms with Tusker's dementia. The couple embark on a road trip across England to visit old haunts, and close friends, in a bid to ensure they have as much quality time together as possible, before Tusker's condition worsens.

Is it any good?

A beautiful study of love, in a unique and uncompromising way, this is far-removed from the archetypal Hollywood relationships we're so used to seeing. Supernova excels in its authentic depiction of long-term, yet loving union, showing the flaws and compromises, but also the support and unconditional love that is so integral to the human experience. Tonally, director and writer Harry Macqueen has presented a movie that is incredibly tender, and warm, and yet the themes explored are anything but.

The central characters -- Sam and Tusker -- are facing up to a tumultuous road ahead, with deteriorating health and death a lingering and unwanted travel companion as the couple travel across beautiful English countryside. Firth and Tucci are wonderful in the leading roles, so nuanced and likable throughout. You believe in their love every step of the way. Even in just the way they look at each other, it's a masterclass of subtle performance. Ultimately this is a film about time, and how it is best spent, and you could do a lot worse than spending your own indulging in this moving story.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how dementia is presented in Supernova. How do Sam and Tusker deal with Tusker's illness in different ways? What do you know of dementia? Why is it important to raise awareness about this and other diseases?

  • Euthanasia and suicide are discussed in the movie. Did you think it handles them sensitively? Do you think a person has the right to choose when and how they end their life?

  • Discuss the relationship between Sam and Tusker, and how communication, compassion, and courage all play a part? What do you think makes a strong relationship? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding relationships.

  • Talk about the strong language used in the movie. Did it seem necessary or excessive? What does it contribute to the movie?

  • Did you find the movie sad or inspiring? Or maybe both? Why do we like to watch movies about hardship? What can we take away from these emotional experiences?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love love stories

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