In the realm of solitude, where suburban ennui meets the urban isolation of a sleek, soundproof apartment high above London, Andrew Haigh’s All of Us Strangers paints a dreamscape that blurs the lines between reality and fantasy. Adam (Andrew Scott), a gay and deeply introspective writer, inhabits this remote space, tethered to loneliness by the scars of his tragic childhood and the specter of unspoken family conversations.
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Release Date: 12/22/2023
Director: Andrew Haigh
Studio: Searchlight Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Where to watch: In theaters
As the film unfurls, Haigh skillfully weaves a spectral tale, initially leaving the audience to ponder if Adam is truly the last person on earth
A chance encounter with Harry (Paul Mescal), the whiskey-toting neighbor, pierces Adam’s solitude, sparking a journey into the suburbs that folds time upon itself. In this paradoxical landscape, Adam’s mundane existence gains dimensions, and he finds himself peeling back layers of vulnerability and innocence.
The film’s lyrical quality, akin to a dream or hallucination, emanates a soul rush of love that transforms a monochrome life into a vivid kaleidoscope
Yet, Haigh dances on the edge of sentimentality, a conceit that demands surrender and feeling over intellectual dissection. Andrew Scott’s performance anchors the narrative, effortlessly conveying repressed pain without succumbing to clichés, making him the beating heart of the story.
All of Us Strangers navigates the intricacies of loneliness and its manifestations, not just physical, but emotional, mental, and artistic. Adam’s journey becomes a prism refracting the colors of isolation, exploring the encounters and experiences that could have been, echoing the universal sentiment of feeling like a stranger in one’s own family.
In a parallel review, the film takes a Christmas twist as Adam, portrayed with achingly vulnerable depth by Andrew Scott, confronts his past in a ghostly narrative of reckonings, reconciliations, and a touch of supernatural time travel. The tentative affair with Harry sparks a journey to Adam’s suburban past, where memories of his parents (played by Claire Foy and Jamie Bell) flood back in haunting detail.
Loosely adapted from Taichi Yamada’s novel, All of Us Strangers captivates with its eerie, mesmerizing pull, blurring the lines between dream, reality, and wish-fulfillment fantasy
Haigh’s delicate direction, coupled with the impressive work of cinematographer Jamie Ramsay and editor Jonathan Alberts, creates a haunting spell that envelopes viewers in a “thin place,” where the presence of loved ones is felt even in their absence.
As Adam grapples with his memories, the film evolves into a rabbit hole of mystery, punctuated by sensuous pleasures, slow-burning chemistry between Scott and Mescal, and surprises that culminate in a reveal that leaves audiences both shocked and deeply moved. All of Us Strangers is not a conventional Christmas carol; instead, it offers a prayer about the cosmic embrace of life everlasting and its implications for our present existence. In this cinematic tapestry, loneliness is not just a personal journey but a shared human experience, a reflection of the universal quest to move from the strange to the familiar.
About our Admit One Author
Anika Chapman is an artist and writer from the small town of Basalt, Colorado. She is currently immersed in her academic journey at Savannah College of Art and Design, situated in the city of Savannah, Georgia. As she navigates the diverse realms of creativity, Anika is diligently working towards completing her educational pursuits, with an anticipated graduation in the upcoming spring of 2023. Her chosen field of study is Art History and Museum Studies, where she delves into the rich tapestry of artistic evolution and the nuanced curation of cultural heritage.