This tender drama is entirely soaked in loneliness and loss and love. Adam (Andrew Scott, “Sherlock”, “Fleabag”) is a screenwriter with writer’s block who finds inspiration in his painful past and enters a fantasy world of his own making to escape his isolated existence. It’s an odd and affecting film.

It’s night in a nearly deserted apartment block somewhere in London, when the fire alarm goes off and Adam exits his apartment to wait until it’s okay to return. When he does get back, he’s standing at the window lost in thought, when he notices a man staring up at him. Later as he sits trying to write, and nothing is coming, there is a knock at the door. The staring man, Harry (Paul Mescal, Aftersun, The Lost Daughter), is there and tries to get himself invited in for a drink. But he’s drunk and kind of crazy, and Adam fends him off. But later they meet again and enter into a relationship.

At the same time, his research for a new script has him looking into his own past. He takes a trip out to his childhood home and finds his parents (Claire Foy, Women Talking, “The Crown”, and ¬†Jamie Bell, Billy Elliot, Rocketman ) who died when he was just 12 years old still there. But odd as it is, Adam returns again and again to be with them and share all that has happened to him since they died. His gayness is of course one of the big things he wants to tell them about, and his Mum reacts as he expects she would have at the time, wondering why he would want to live without a family and kids, not understanding that the world has moved on since she was alive. His father’s reaction is a bit more surprising. They have all those conversations we wish we could have had with those who are not here to have them with. And it’s ultimately healing for him, but he also knows he can’t live in that world. Though he doesn’t want to leave them behind.

It’s not all woo-woo fantasy ghosty. It’s much more matter of fact. And he goes back and forth between them and his growing relationship with Harry who is also hurting but loses himself in drugs and alcohol. All the actors do a great job here, but this is Scott’s movie and he is simply amazing! Most people likely know him from television, where he steals the show whenever he’s on screen, but this role shows he’s an actor with so much more depth. I hope to see him in a lot more lead roles. And I’d love it if he and the movie got some awards season love.

 

In limited release beginning December 22. 

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