Battle-hardened film critics who remained dry-eyed throughout ultimate tear-jerkers like Watership Down and Bambi have been weeping bucketloads during screenings of Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott’s latest film, All of Us Strangers. Now that director Andrew Haigh’s devastating creation is unleashed upon the general public, here’s a little advice to get you through it.
Don’t watch it
Only kidding, because you’ll be missing what could turn out to be the best film of the year. Scott and Mescal play two lost souls who fall for each other; which would be wonderful if Scott’s parents (Claire Foy and Jamie Bell), who died when he was 12, didn’t supernaturally come back to life. This triggers a slo-mo – and incredibly moving – avalanche of grief, gay shame and loneliness.
Watch a triple-bill of Beaches, A Star is Born and Aftersun to drain all the tears beforehand
Although this still might not work, as Scott’s performance is so astonishingly vulnerable and tender.
Get yourself on the voting panel for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences or the Baftas
Because if you are a member of one of these, you must be sufficiently unmoved by the whole film (it got zero Oscar nominations) or oblivious to Scott’s brilliance (it’s a crime that he isn’t up for best actor at the Baftas). Either way, you’ll be a hard-hearted, soulless excuse for a human being who is utterly incapable of crying.
Listen to Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s The Power of Love and Pet Shop Boys’ Always on My Mind on repeat for a week until you can’t stand them
Then you won’t erupt into tears when these songs are used to ramp up the emotional charge to tsunami levels.
Give in, go to a quiet midweek afternoon screening and blub to your heart’s content
That’s more like it – a good old cry is sometimes just the ticket. And when a film is this cinematically gorgeous too, you’ll thank yourself.
All of Us Strangers is in cinemas from 26 January