Home Estate Planning All of us Strangers: Andrew Scott is superb in this strange drama

All of us Strangers: Andrew Scott is superb in this strange drama

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Andrew Scott, who stole the hearts of millions as Fleabag’s Hot Priest, has a different kind of romantic crisis in this astounding drama. 

Based on the 1988 novel Strangers, British director Andrew Haigh (45 Years, Lean On Pete) crafts a tale that is both a ghost story and a character study. Grief, sex, and our individual identities are explored with compassion through Haigh’s script, which focuses on emotional truth rather than what is or isn’t real.

Scott plays Adam, a screenwriter living a lonely existence in a new-build London flat. His sexuality and the loss of his parents as a child have caused him to isolate himself from the world, until a handsome neighbour called Harry (Paul Mescal) comes knocking on his door late at night. Just as he begins a new relationship, Adam visits his childhood home, only to find the ghosts of his parents (Claire Foy and Jamie Bell) waiting for him. 

Time and space meld into one, described beautifully when Adam waves off his parents’ death as being “a long time ago”, before a wide-eyed Harry replies “I’m not sure that matters”. 

All of us Strangers is a story about the ripple effect that people and events have on our lives, becoming a devastating journey through the soul. 

For all of Haigh’s brilliance, it is the cast that take the material to another level. Despite being a decade younger than Scott, Foy and Bell are perfect as parents permanently stuck in the 80s, with Foy shining as someone to whom maternal care didn’t come naturally. The scenes where Adam comes out to them are heart-breaking, as the actors reveal glimpses of a sub-plot that would be a great movie in its own right. 

Mescal is superb as the dreamboat new love, with Harry’s Northern swagger masking a whole host of insecurities. His stare cuts through Adam’s defences in a way that feels authentic and emotionally satisfying. 

The film belongs to Scott, however, who bafflingly missed out on both BAFTA and Oscar nominations for what might be the best role of his career. It’s a wonderful performance filled with contrasts. We see Adam’s armour come up in his day-to-day life before melting away when he is reunited with his Mum and Dad. 

Having made a name for himself as a standout supporting act, it’s gratifying to see the Irish star get a substantial platform and shine, even within an ensemble as talented as this. 

All Of Us Strangers ends on a strange but glorious note, with questions lingering that will inspire many theories. What isn’t up for debate, however, is that it’s a remarkable film, filled with wonder and fantasy. 

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