“Sam and Tusker are traveling across England in their old RV to visit friends, family and places from their past. Since Tusker was diagnosed with dementia two years ago, their time together is the most important thing they have.” -IMDB
Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci are modern treasures. Whenever I watch a movie with either of them, I trust that I am going to be well taken care of. And I was delighted to find out that the two of them are actually longtime friends in real life. It was this trust in the actors and the type of projects they have chosen throughout their careers that ultimately allowed me to go into this film, which I otherwise may have been scared off from. Let me clarify…
This film follows Sam and Tusker, a couple who have been together for decades and who have been coping with Tusker’s dementia diagnosis, as they embark on a road trip through England. There are few topics as bleak and harsh to deal with as dementia (particularly if you have known and/or loved someone who has suffered from this disease), so going in I knew it was going to be a tough watch. And it absolutely was. It is heart-wrenching, but also so beautifully honest, intimate, and respectful in how it handles such a difficult topic.
As expected, Firth and Tucci’s real-life friendship seems to have allowed them to slip naturally into shorthand with one another. Their quietly comical squabbles with one another are realistic and playful, while their poignant moments are intimate, tender, and filled with love and compassion. They also each bring a unique perspective to their respective characters, as they face the separate, devastating struggles of the disease.
While there is no way to watch this film without going through a pretty hefty box of tissues (or in my case napkins which jab at the eye…so please, remember your kleenex), this film is not all bleak. It ultimately celebrates love and what pure, selfless love can look like. But my god, I’m crying right now just thinking about this movie. So please, just take my word and add this to your list for a Morose Movie Monday or Sad Cinema Saturday.
Rating: 9 out of 10 Claire Bears
If you like this movie, you should also see: Me Before You, The Sea Inside
Streaming: Currently available in theaters and for rent
With: Colin Firth, Stanley Tucci, Pippa Haywood
Directed By: Harry Macqueen