Cinema Review: All of Us Strangers

Posted 6 months ago in Cinema Reviews


The source material for Andrew Haigh’s disconcertingly beautiful new work is the novel Strangers written by Japanese writer Taichi Yamada back in 1987. It followed a middle-aged, jaded and divorced TV scriptwriter who returns one night to the dilapidated downtown district of Tokyo where he grew up. There, at the theatre, he meets someone who resembles his long-dead father. From here he’s thrust into a reality where his parents appear to be alive at the exact age they had been when they had died so many years before. In essence, a spectral story ripe for adaptation.

In Haigh’s treatment, Adam (Andrew Scott) is a gay scriptwriter living in a near empty new build tower block in London. He returns to his suburban home to encounter his parents (Foy & Bell) who died in a car crash when he was 12. The twist is his mysterious neighbour Harry (Paul Mescal) and the attraction which evolves between them. All of Us Strangers is a tender and thoughtful portrayal of attraction, loneliness, grief and our desire to change the narrative of our pasts. Having Adam’s parents stuck in a time warp whilst he explains the progress in gay rights provides a fascinating portal in terms of how far we have come. The loneliness which engulfs his existence shows some things remain constant.

Aided by a brilliant cast All of Us Strangers resonates in all the right places with enough off kilter shades to engross. Anyone who has lost their parents will certainly find this triggering – the yearning and chance to recapture and alter past memories and relationships is laden with sensitivities.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s The Power of Love tops and tails the film and its message resonates throughout, “Love is the light. Scaring darkness away.”

Words: Michael McDermott 

All of Us Strangers

Director: Andrew Haigh

Talent: Andrew Scott, Paul Mescal, Claire Foy, Jamie Bell

Release Date: January 26


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