All Of Us Strangers: Struggling to write a script whilst potentially entering into a relationship, Adam (Andrew Scott) explores what life would be like if his parents (Claire Foy, Jamie Bell) hadn’t passed away 30 years before.

Release Date - 26th January, Cert - 15, Run-time - 1 hour 45 minutes, Director - Andrew Haigh

Adam’s (Andrew Scott) loneliness is heightened by the modern design of the almost empty block of flats he lives in. His escape is to his parents’ house; greeted with a warm smile and loving embrace both mum (Claire Foy) and dad (Jamie Bell) seem rather close, if not identical, to their son’s age. The pair are being used as inspirations for Adam’s latest screenplay which he’s struggling to write, however the real reason may be more personal as he confronts long-lingering grief from his parents having passed away 30 years before.

Considered and believable conversations unfold between the three as Adam reverts back to a childhood state while still appearing as his adult self. A set of excellent performances boost the emotional core found in the time and space given to the quietness. Adam struggles to move on as he delves into ‘what could have been’ How would he have come out to his mum? A scene covering this is full of well-handled tonal shifts, humour and emotion, as he tries to catch her up on the changes, and proved falsehoods, since the 80s.

As Adam looks back things move forward in the present when it comes to a potential relationship with the only other person in his building, Paul Mescal’s Harry. There’s little said in a number of conversations between the neighbours, and indeed throughout the film. Breaks and silence capture thought and hesitancy, characters say what they need to say and little else - “I play music, but it’s worse when it ends” Adam says about the quietness of where he lives.

Throughout Scott dives into the phrase “I’ve always said that writers know less about the real world than anyone else” as his potential fantasies make for safe comfort, while the real world with Harry, particularly a sequence in a night club effectively set to Blur’s Death Of The Party, have plenty of worry and uncertainty. Will he mess things up? Where will they go? Such thoughts combatted by Mescal’s more outgoing and highly flirtatious turn.

Andrew Haigh brings a tenderness to the film through his screenplay and direction. Quiet, calm and thoughtful it injects feeling into the deeply personal set of events that Scott’s character goes through. The heart powers the overall journey, the confrontations and understandings made amongst the backdrop of grief. We’re invited in to an exploration of held-in emotions, potentially coming through in full if the moments with his parents take place in Adam’s mind - the workings of this are up to the viewer.

Both worlds blend together to create an emotionally intelligent and thoughtful drama. A detailed dive into lingering hurt and emotions and the effects of them echoing over the years. All Of Us Strangers is a brilliantly understood drama, even down to the soundtrack selections, of emotions tangling with natural fantasies and memories.

Jamie Skinner, four stars ****