“All of Us Strangers”


Metacritic (9/10), Letterboxd (4.5/5), Imdb.com (9/10), TMDB.com (4.5/5)

In a movie awards season that has had more misses than hits, it’s gratifying to see one that not only lives up to, but exceeds, its potential. Such is the case with writer-director Andrew Haigh’s latest offering, a heartwarming and heartbreaking story of love, reflection and healing all rolled into one. To say too much about the film would invariably lead to a plethora of spoilers, but suffice it to say that it tells a genuinely moving and touching tale of a 30-something gay Londoner (Andrew Scott) and his budding relationship with a mysterious new beau (Paul Mescal), an involvement very much influenced by the protagonist’s relationship with his own past, most notably his involvement with his parents (Jamie Bell, Claire Foy). This is one of those pictures that’s just about perfect in virtually every regard thanks to its stringent adherence to authenticity in the writing and the portrayals of its positively stellar cast, especially the highly underrated performance by Foy, whose role has puzzlingly been flying under the radar thus far. It’s also a production that will likely surprise viewers in myriad ways, defying expectations and telling a story that’s anything but apparent from what’s in its promotional trailer. Moreover, I’m impressed by the fact that this is an offering featuring gay characters in which their sexuality is not the principal focus of the narrative, something that truly distinguishes this feature from so many others in this genre. Add to these attributes a sensitively chosen soundtrack and some surprisingly innovative cinematography, and you’ve got one helluva fine movie. To be sure, this is one of those releases that, if it doesn’t touch you profoundly, you’d better check to see if you have ice water coursing through your veins. “All of Us Strangers” richly deserves whatever accolades it receives. It’s one of the year’s best, bar none.