Friday, January 12, 2024

All of Us Strangers

Writer/director Andrew Haigh offers a stylish and delicate tale of early romance between Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal as neighbors in a mostly empty apartment building featuring great performances from both its leads. So where does my problem with All of Us Strangers lie? Without giving too much away, it's the shaky base of the film presented entirely from Adam's (Andrew Scott) point of view which gets problematic as we learn he's got a complicated relationship with reality.

First noticeable in the odd sequences with his parents (Jamie Bell and Claire Foy), we can see the fraying tethers of Adam's grasp of reality. And despite the intricately woven tale, All of Us Strangers is a house of cards precariously wobbling. The confirmation at the end of the film shattered that design for me, as reality yanks out from underneath tumbling those cards down. It's a extremely complicated magic trick that looses much of its allure when the magician shows his hand.

All of Us Strangers is a difficult film to review because so much works in individual moments and scenes between complicated characters only to implode in on itself when the truth has to be revealed. It's an amazing look at a burgeoning gay love affair and its dreamy quality helps hide some of its more problematic aspects that don't make much sense if you think on them too long.

That's about as far as I go into All of Us Strangers remaining spoiler free other than to say any film that makes me questions the time I spent watching it, no matter how well its made, gives me pause. Given its highs, the film is still worth recommending, and for some maybe the design won't tumble when those threads are all yanked on at once and the world is pulled from underneath Adam's feet. If so, you might end up enjoying this film far more than I did. For me, despite everything it does so well, it's not a film I'd likely ever return to.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: All of Us Strangers
  • IMDb: link

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