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all of us strangers

★★★★

.5

starring: andrew scott, paul mescal, claire foy, and jamie bell

REVIEWER: lyall carter

A screenwriter drawn back to his childhood home enters into a fledgling relationship with a mysterious neighbor as he then discovers his parents appear to be living just as they were on the day they died, 30 years before.

Two actors at the very height of their powers starring together in a stripped back, fantastical modern fable which explores the somewhat circular nature of love, loneliness, and grief? Count me in. All Of Us Strangers is a power house drama with searing performances from Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal which will leave you meditating on its themes for days to come.

 

One night in his near-empty tower block in contemporary London, Adam (Andrew Scott) has a chance encounter with a mysterious neighbour Harry (Paul Mescal), which punctures the rhythm of his everyday life. As a relationship develops between them, Adam is preoccupied with memories of the past and finds himself drawn back to the suburban town where he grew up, and the childhood home where his parents (Claire Foy and Jamie Bell), appear to be living, just as they were on the day they died, 30 years before.

Before we become properly introduced let alone immersed into the narrative of All Of Us Strangers, the tone is beautifully captured and portrayed through the gorgeous yet melancholic cinematography of Jamie D. Ramsay. There’s something ethereal, other worldly about the way in which he captures images of tower block flats or commuter trains making them somewhat mythological beasts.

Central to the narrative is a story thread in which you have to suspend quite a bit of reality as the film progresses. But what makes it work so very well is the depths to which the film plumbs. This isn’t just a film that explores romance or grief; there is so much more to it than that. It delves deep into intergenerational relationships, childhood trauma, parental expectations, and the realisation of fading youth. 

It is so impressive not only in its depths, but in the universality of its themes in that anyone who goes to see it will find something that resonates with them in a truly affecting way. 

Anyone who’s seen Andrew Scott’s previous work will know what an utter talent he is. Here he is magnificent; commanding yet soulful, drawing you into the depths of his character’s crushing grief. Mascal is equally impressive in the portrayal of his more obviously broken character which always remains real and never overplayed. 

All Of Us Strangers is a power house drama with searing performances from Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal which will leave you meditating on its themes for days to come.

★★★★

.5

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