Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci star in a new film titled Supernova, which is generating a considerable about of buzz ahead of awards season.
The pair play a couple travelling through the English countryside in an old RV visiting friends and places from their past, as Tucci's character descends into living with early-onset dementia, and the couple are forced to grapple with the challenges that come with the disease.
The film is written and directed by Harry Macqueen, and the centres on Sam (Firth) and Tusker's (Tucci), relationship as it's tested like never before in the wake of Tuskers diagnosis. The story exposes what it's like to love in the face of an illness that will ultimately leave them both inevitably alone, and the difficulty of navigating a relationship when such fate lies ahead.
While the film looks heart-wrenching and delicate, the issue that never ceases to arise is the fact that the queer couple in question is played by two straight people, which leaves a lot of room for critique. While both actors are not unfamiliar with taking on roles of gay men - Firth as his role in A Single Man and Tucci in countless productions, most famously The Devil Wears Prada - they simply aren't in real life, and oscar-winning performances aside, it's time we start giving legitimately queer people priority in playing roles which represent lived experience, struggle, heartbreak and romance included.
For clarification, the issue is not with the quality of performance from either actor (considering I'd lay down my life for both), but the clear opportunity for those in the LGBTQI+ community to be more widely represented in Hollywood and the entertainment industry at large (after decades of these industries making it clear that there was no seat at the table for LGBTQI+ folks), and that opportunity going to those who do not represent the community at hand or their experience in the real world. When roles like this are handed to heterosexual actors, the industry sends a clear message that while our stories are covetable and profitable, our bodies are not.