All of Us Strangers

Ireland’s most sensitive heartthrobs sizzle in Andrew Haigh’s sad (yet sexy) fantasy tale

Film Review by Katie Driscoll | 22 Jan 2024
  • All of Us Strangers
Film title: All of Us Strangers
Director: Andrew Haigh
Starring: Andrew Scott, Paul Mescal, Claire Foy, Jamie Bell
Release date: 26 Jan
Certificate: 15

Adam (Andrew Scott) is a lonely screenwriter struggling to write about the parents he lost in a car accident when he was 12. He's also beginning a tender and sensual relationship with his puppyish and enigmatic neighbour, Harry (Paul Mescal), which develops against a backdrop of neon-lit dancefloors and dark nights in bed, the two like vampire lovers thirsty for connection. At the same time, Adam pays a visit to his childhood home and discovers his late parents living just as they were right before their deaths. This gives Adam the chance to come out to his parents; to have his dad tell him “It’s okay, son” once more.

However brief, Adam’s rekindling with his parents beautifully portrays how music is entwined with memory, expressed through the film’s 1980s soundtrack. (What Aftersun did for Queen, All of Us Strangers is bound to do for Frankie Goes to Hollywood). Haigh doesn’t let these moments of miraculous magic stop the film from speaking to the raw and time-warping nature of loss. Scott plays a man gripped in the claws of grief with a tenacious vulnerability, embodying both an abandoned child and guarded adult with equal force.

All of Us Strangers is a shattering meditation on loss and loneliness, a sentimental testament to the David Foster Wallace line that yes, every love story is also a ghost story. But it also serves up a slice of hope. It says that love – however messy and imperfect it is – can pierce through the isolating walls of grief.

Released 26 Jan by Disney; certificate 15