• Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

ALL OF US STRANGERS – A Surreal Oscar Season Love Story!

ByTaylor T Carlson

Nov 12, 2023

ALL OF US STRANGERS is directed by Andrew Haigh. It stars Andrew Scott, Paul Mescal, Jamie Bell, and Claire Foy.

Adam is a screenwriter living in London who develops a romance with his neighbor Harry, changing his life drastically. He struggles with the losses of his family, yet is apparently able to revisit the childhood home where they raised him, seeing them as they were when he was a child. But as his experiences with Harry grow, will he be able to balance what’s real and what’s fantasy, or will he be consumed by his past childhood trauma and growing addictions?

ALL OF US STRANGERS is a difficult film to review. On one hand it’s beautifully made and cast, and the 80s new wave soundtrack is top notch. The surreal atmosphere and love story are handled well. But at times the film gets lost in its gimmick, making it difficult to tell what’s real and what isn’t. While I don’t think it’s a film that’ll connect with mainstream audiences, those who give it a chance are bound to be entranced by everything it does well.

Thankfully, ALL OF US STRANGERS is a well-paced film with beautiful cinematography and a fantastic core cast. The movie smartly keeps its core cast at a mere four characters, enabling us to focus on what’s important. Andrew Haigh score major points for not bogging the narrative down in an overlong jumble of side stories, tertiary characters, and needless elements. It’s streamlined in all the best ways.

Casting is just as well done. In particular, the lead performance from Andrew Scott is a fantastic one. The film has very little plot and is more of a character study than anything, showing beautifully how past trauma and experiences can impact one’s adulthood. Superb in a supporting role is Claire Foy as his mother, clearly initially disapproving of her son’s life choices, making for some of the best drama on display and paving the way to the inevitable drama sure to follow. At times it’s heartbreaking, but ALL OF US STRANGERS looks gorgeous and is well acted by a small but excellent cast of actors.

If there’s one weakness, it’s that the movie somewhat overdoes its gimmick while neglecting other aspects of the production. For example, our main character works as a screenwriter, but we never quite get the necessary emphasis for this to be believable. The film is largely set in its own little world, which is simultaneously its greatest strength and weakness. Still, the good outweighs the bad.

ALL OF US STRANGERS isn’t a movie likely to connect with mainstream audiences, but the good far outweighs the bad, and those who give this surreal love story a chance shouldn’t be disappointed in what it offers. Just know what you’re getting into first! Moderately recommended.

By Taylor T Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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