ALL OF US STRANGERS
Starring: Andrew Scott, Paul Mescal, Jamie Bell, and Claire Foy
Director: Andrew Haigh
All of Us Strangers is an incredibly personal film that is both heartbreaking and extremely powerful. It’s intimate, tender, and everything in between. This work of art touches on themes of loneliness and grief that will resonate with many, and I promise you it will give you all the feels thanks to the stellar and moving direction from director Andrew Haigh. Plus, Andrew Scott, Paul Mescal, Claire Foy, and Jamie Bell all deliver riveting performances. Once the end credits hit, this gem will have you rushing out of the theater to call your loved ones.
All of Us Strangers has some real devastation, but sadly, a lot of it fell flat for me. Admittedly, writer/director Andrew Haigh does pull off the heartbreaking drama as it examines how we can sometimes fail to accept grief and how love can set us free, and this movie did make me shed some tears at times, thanks in part to the richly layered performance from Andrew Scott. However, some of the ways in which the film tries to explore its subjects collapse on themselves and the ending feels pointless. So, while this is worthwhile, I wish I got more out of it.
All of Us Strangers has the difficult position of having a ploddingly slow pace be essential to its emotional payoffs. I felt myself getting detached throughout the film whenever Adam’s (Andrew Scott) story paused for more contemplative scenes, but at the same time, that silence and Andrew Haigh’s intense direction made the film’s unique approach to trauma and memories much more powerful. Combine that with Scott, Paul Mescal, Jamie Bell, and Claire Foy all bringing tremendous gravitas to that emotional resonance, and Strangers makes for a moving, if at times sluggish, experience.
This film was reviewed by Paige as part of Bitesize Breakdown's coverage of the 2023 New York Film Festival.