Everything is Different Now

All of Us Strangers

Director: Andrew Haigh

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

Running Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Film Rating: 8 out of 10

45 Years director Andrew Haigh perfectly adapts the Japanese novel Strangers written by the late writer Taichi Yamada, originally published in 1987 into a superb contemporary British film retitled All of Us Strangers, featuring a lonely screenwriter Adam who psychologically has to relive the trauma of his parents death, played by Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot) and Claire Foy (First Man, Women Talking), when he meets a gorgeous yet troubled young man Harry in an isolated apartment building in modern day London.

Adam wonderfully played by Andrew Scott (1917, Spectre) in his first ever leading role, encapsulates all the trauma, isolation, desire and loneliness of a middle aged single gay man as he falls in love fleetingly with the sexy hunk Harry played with mesmerizing screen presence by Oscar nominee Paul Mescal (Aftersun).

In a bizarre emotional twist, All of Us Strangers features a grown up Adam confronting his late parents in some intimate scenes in which he comes out as gay to his mother and tries desperately to form an emotional bond with his father. Adam’s parents were conventional people in 1980’s England who died before they had a chance to watch their only son grow up and forge his own sexual identity.

Issues of prejudice, fear and loneliness pervade Andrew Haigh’s slow burning tale of one man’s excruciating emotional journey of coming to terms with childhood trauma, triggered by his abundant desire for Harry, a beautiful whiff of a soul, that glimmers on the edges of Adam’s existence long enough for desire to linger and short enough to eliminate any longevity.

Similar to director Tom Ford’s A Single Man, but certainly not as stylish, Andrew Haigh delivers a remarkably interesting and deceptive film about gay love, acceptance and remorse as Adam takes the audience on a poignant romantic journey cut short by his own desire to reconnect with his shattered past.

All of Us Strangers is a slow burning tale about a gay man’s search for his elusive emotional centre in an isolating metropolis while he is continually taunted by the past and haunted by recent desire.

This very art house love story is both fascinating and at times tricky, but it will be sure to pull audiences in to a complex love story with the past and with a future in which everything is different now.

All of Us Strangers gets a film rating of 8 out of 10 and see it for Paul Mescal, who is amazing. Recommended for a niche audience, but beautifully acted with a catchy 1980’s soundtrack.  

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