Bust out those tissue boxes, because All Of Us Strangers is sure to be one of the most talked about (and cried over) gay movies of the year.
It’s a romantic, soul-searching drama that asks some pretty thought-provoking questions such as:
“How would you react if, one day, someone from your long-ago past walked back into your life, looking not a day older than the last time you saw them?”
And: “What would you do if Paul Mescal knocked on your door and asked you on a date?”
But, in all seriousness, All Of Us Strangers has quickly become one of the most buzzed about films of the fall festival season—and for good reason.
For starters, it comes from acclaimed gay filmmaker Andrew Haigh. The British writer-director’s first feature, Greek Pete, was a portrait of a London rent boy that intriguingly blended fact and fiction. But his second film, Weekend, was his proper breakthrough, letting audiences follow along on a one-night stand that gradually evolves into something more… or does it?
Since then, he was heavily involved with HBO’s slice-of-life gay dramedy, Looking, which he co-created and directed standout episodes of—including the 2018 movie finale. He also helmed 2015’s aching septuagenarian romance 45 Years (which earned Charlotte Rampling an Oscar nod), and the coming-of-age jockey story Lean On Pete in 2017.
And it sounds like All Of Us Strangers will be his most personal film yet—due in part to the fact that a lot of it was actually filmed in his childhood home!
Fleabag‘s “Hot Priest” Andrew Scott stars as Adam who—not unlike Haigh—is a gay, middle-aged screenwriter. He lives a solitary life in his London high rise, until one day his handsome, younger neighbor Harry (Normal People‘s Paul Mescal) stumbles into his world. The two have an undeniable spark, but something’s holding Adam back…
Around the same time, Adam finds himself drawn back to his childhood home, and it’s there he’s surprised to encounter his mom (The Crown‘s Claire Foy) and dad (Billy Elliot‘s Jamie Bell) who died some years prior in a tragic accident. But they’re here now, looking just the way he remembers them—does that make them ghosts? Or is something else supernatural going on here?
Best we can tell, All Of Us Strangers isn’t so much about answering those mysteries as it is about grief, self-acceptance, and the loneliness that can linger in the lives of gay men. Early reactions from its premiere at the Telluride Film Festival tell us its also quite a sexy film—with Scott and Mescal both fearlessly committed to the romance—and one we’re sure to be talking about well after it hits U.S. theaters on December 22.
Oh, and right, it’s going to make you cry, too. Don’t believe us? Try watching the film’s tender first trailer—soundtracked by the Pet Shop Boys’ cover of “Always On My Mind“—and not get all teary-eyed: