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Oct 23 2023
The Power Of Love: A Review Of ALL OF US STRANGERS Comments (0)

Source(GIF via GIPHY)

NewFest 35 had ended with Andrew Haigh's poetic All of Us Strangers, an emotional-ghost story that haunts with every frame.

The film stars Andrew Scott as Adam, a middle-aged gay man who never came to terms with the sudden deaths of his parents in a car crash, and who is living nearly alone in a massive development, one of its first inhabitants. After he meets a tipsy, sexy, much younger neighbor in Harry (Paul Mescal), he begins a scary new relationship with him that continually surprises.

All-of-us-strangers-paul-mescal(GIF via GIPHY)

More surprising still, when Adam — a screenwriter — journeys to his childhood home, still standing, he spots his younger self (Carter John Grout) in the window, and finds his parents (Claire Foy and Jamie Bell) living there in the '80s, as if nothing had ever happened.

The arrangement is anything but terrifying to Adam. He slowly befriends his parents, who are aware they died but fuzzy on the details, and who have a genuine interest in discovering the man their only child has become. Their interactions with their grown son are by turns charming, naive, regretful, awkward. His earnest visits with them provide a fantastic closure for their wounded offspring.

Boyculture-jamie-bell-and-claire-foy-all-of-us-strangers-64e71007bb5a6I see dead parents. (Image via Fox Searchlight)

With a muted tone reminiscent of Lost in Translation, this supernatural exploration of humanity contains beautiful, sensual performances by Scott and Mescal, who ably push the film's questions about the potential downside of all the connectedness we are experiencing. All of Us Strangers also asks whether It Gets Better is a promise ... or a prayer.

Haigh's use of 1980s culture — mostly Frankie Goes to Hollywood — is daring, and pays off with an ending sequence straight out of Kubrick, but with heart.

I've seen so many movies in my life, but never any quite like this.