Cinematic Considerations: All Of Us Strangers

Plot:“A screenwriter drawn back to his childhood home enters into a fledgling relationship with a mysterious neighbor as he then discovers his parents appear to be living just as they were on the day they died, 30 years before.” -IMDB

Review: “All of Us Strangers” is a challenging film to discuss without spoiling vital moments in the story. Instead of analyzing the plot, I want to spend some time in this review examining what this film did to me. At the end of that reckoning, I hope to impress upon you the necessity of seeing this film as fast as humanly possible.  

Imagine for a moment that you could have a conversation with someone from your past. That person could still be living or their time on Earth could have already ended. If you had the chance, what would you say in such a conversation? What would you confess? How would you seek clarity? How would you uncover truth? How would you express all the moments in your life they have missed? It is this thought exercise that serves as the foundation for this film.  

As I watched this story unfold, and in the days that followed, three people consumed my attention. Thinking of my grandmother, my father, and my youngest brother, I cannot help but apply this thought experiment to my life. If given the chance, I would love to show my grandmother what has become of my life. Talking with my dad, I would hope to squeeze out any remaining wisdom he deemed important. Speaking with Lucas, I find myself consumed by the dizzying number of questions encircling someone stolen so violently from my family.  

In this film, Adam (Andrew Scott), plays the role of a struggling screenwriter whose parents died in a car crash thirty years ago. Mysteriously, he gets an opportunity to share space with his parents. He is afforded an opportunity to reveal the arc of his life. He gets to come out to his parents and reveal his authentic self. He gets to wrestle with the violent ending of his parents’ life and its devastating impact. And he gets to do this in the confines of a budding and supportive relationship with his confident and flirtatious neighbor, Harry (Paul Mescal).  

As he does, we question whether he is mentally breaking down or if something else is happening here. The answer to that question is not necessarily important, not as important as the revelations uncovered and the mirrors shining on our own lives.  

The people who love us most in this world can never truly and completely know us. Our parents, siblings, romantic partners, and best friends are strangers at the end of the day. We are strangers to them as well, at least some portion of us remain so. No matter how we try, we can never fully know someone, and we can never fully be known. Even if, through some mystical opportunity, we were afforded an opportunity to converse with those absent from our lives, we would discover we are all just strangers to each other.  

For me, this is a powerful epiphany, but so is the revelation that time is a precious and rare commodity. We do not have long to tell those we love how we feel. One day, grief will be all that we have. I have heard it said, “that grief is nothing more than all our unexpressed love.” This movie cements this idea within me. When you decide to spend time with this story, I am confident it will make you feel the same way. That is powerful. There is opportunity in such a realization. For this gift, I cannot recommend this film enough.


Be good to each other,


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