Andrew Haigh's 'All of Us Strangers' is so delicately crafted and intimately performed that it almost seems wrong to discuss its immaculate construction.

Andrew, as a director, has a remarkable ability to create films that are both elegant and stylish, but never lose sight of the deep emotions of the story or the humanity of the characters.

I've always been very impressed with his work, not least the powerful 45 Years, and thought his latest film left me, like the rest of the packed cinema I saw it with, devastated, to only talk of the profound sadness within, would be to deny how funny and beautiful it is.

Andrew has, once again, delivered a film that is so impressively intricate in its narrative construction and overlapping themes, that unpicking the intricacy of his tapestry seems wrong.

Sometimes it's OK just to marvel.

What captivates me about this film, mirroring the book it is based on, is its use of classic ghost story elements to commune with the dead in ways both sublime and heartbreaking.

The waking dreamlike structure where Andrew Scott's Adam is able to meet his long-deceased parents at his current age provides an opportunity for discussion and closure that many desire, but can never have.

But while Adam can talk to them now, the conversations are still haunted by what is not said.

One particularly deft sequence, exemplifying Andrew's skill in constructing a scene and his beautiful directing of the actors, unfolds not with dialogue, but with song. As an adult, Adam and the ghosts of his parents decorate the family Christmas tree while layers of nuance permeate the scene.

Physically regressing to his childhood, Adam experiences this annual tradition again while the song playing on the TV, the Pet Shop Boys cover of '' Always on My Mind '', holds different meanings to his Elvis-loving parents than it does for their son grappling with his sexuality.

That scene, devoid of any words other than the parents singing the song back to their now-adult child, is masterful.

This moment is just one of many that utilize genre and structure to uncover new understanding.

Andrew is able to make a film that is somehow dreamlike and wrenching. On a note of pure envy, his musical choices throughout are perfect, a descent into madness set to Blur's ' Death of a Party ' is so brilliantly done that I was able to temper my jealousy.

I have long felt that specificity is universal and Andrew is able to imbue the film with detail, such as the use of his childhood home of Croydon, in a way that, though it may not be directly personal to me, still resonated powerfully.

I am of the same age as Andrew and while we have different lives, the memories of growing up in the 80s under the shadow of AIDS left me aching.

I will also say that having lived through the pandemic in an almost deserted new apartment building in London was something I directly and painfully related to; the term ''phantom flats'' has never been so apt.

I am in awe of what Andrew managed to do in this film.

It's a true testament to his artistry that he was alive to make a film so personal, emotional and resonant, yet also so satisfying within its place in a genre.

Though a traditional ghost story might end on a note of sadness or shock, the fact that Andrew is able to leave us with a moment of infinite beauty is to be cherished.

The World Students Society thanks Edgar Wright whose film's include Last Night in Soho, The Sparks Brothers, Baby Driver and Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy : Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End. [ Courtesy :Variety. com ]


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