All of Us Strangers -London Film Festival 2023

by Naomi Roper

What makes us human? Our ability to love and be loved? Our capacity for hope? Our willingness to dream? What makes us whole? Adam (Andrew Scott) is a person with a hole at the very centre of him. A scriptwriter he lives a solitary existence in an empty tower block overlooking the glittering lights of the city below. Companionship crashes into his life with the appearance of a drunken Harry (Paul Mescal) who sees Adam silhouetted in his window one night after a fire alarm disturbs them  both. Too afraid initially to let him in these two lonely souls slowly find each other embarking on a romance. Meanwhile Adam reconnects with his parents played by Claire Foy and Jamie Bell.

All of Us Strangers is a soul shattering triumph from British writer/director Andrew Haig. Loosely based on a novel by Taichi Yamada All of Us Strangers is a tale of the enduring power of love, our desperate yearning for connection and the bottomless depths of grief. 

Nothing haunts us as much as all the words left unsaid. In All of Us Strangers Haig explores what would happen if we were given a chance to have all those conversations we dearly wish we’d had and the result is spellbinding.

Andrew Scott has always been mesmerising as a stage actor but hasn’t (Moriarty aside) been given quite the same opportunity to showcase his very considerable talent in film. All of Us Strangers finally gives him the leading role he richly deserves. Scott is astoundingly brilliant as the lost soul re-connecting with his parents. 

He is well matched by Paul Mescal who is achingly vulnerable, a man with his nerves  exposed for all to see, as his equally lonely boyfriend. They’re a charmingly tender couple. 

Claire Foy and Jamie Bell provide strong support in tricky roles which could have fallen into caricature in less deft hands. 

It all builds to an emotionally devastating climax which skirts tropes in a way which both infuriates and dazzles.

Destined to leave audiences a sobbing mess All of Us Strangers is a tender, quietly devastating fever dream of a film featuring an exceptional lead performance from Andrew Scott.

All of Us Strangers screened at the London Film Festival and is due to be released in the UK on 26 January 2024.