Last Saturday I went to a cinema to watch this movie. My review is the following…
The length of the movie is a day in a life of George Falconer (Colin Firth), in September 1962. He is a British English literature Professor who lives in LA, USA. It begins with a scene that George dreams of the death of his boyfriend Jim. George wakes up all sweaty, alone and lonely.
The rest of the movie is filled with flash backs so that audience discovers what has happened to Jim earlier, how their relationship was and how different those men were.
While waking up that particular morning George decides to end his sorrow of grieving Jim’s death. We see his neighbours, his students and people in his surroundings, including a stranger he meets at the drugstore. And last but not least, Charley (Julianne Moore), his neighbour/long girlfriend from London. This Charley cherishes a desire to share her life with him as a hetero couple. She tells him directly about this after a cocktail or two.
I won’t tell you the end of the story for I believe it will spoil the movie if you’d know it in advance.
First of all, two thumbs for the props used in this movie. They bring you to experience the sixties! (talking about Mad Men the series). George’s dark, thick frames remind me of those of my grandfather’s. Love his Mercedes also, it is a vintage car I presumed. I like the colour tone: brownish with golden glow in it as if it the sun is setting. And not unimportant: the scenes are granular. I guess to enhance the sixties feeling (?).
Anyway, the title A Single Man refers to a term used at the sixties to gays. At that time it was unusual/unaccepted for gays to openly living together as lovers. So when a man had reached a ripe age to get married but he wasn’t and he lived alone, people would call him A Single Man at that time.
As Firth’s character describes to his students in this movies about minorities: when majorities start to recognize minorities, it means that they aren’t invisible anymore. Like gays at that decade in the last century, people acknowledged their existence but they were invisible. This scene contains one of my favorite dialogues. A bit about Cuban-American conflict is seen in the movie, adding background information concerning pages in the history taking place at the same time.
Colin Firth playing the leading role, he is amazing and surely worth an Oscar nomination. I admire his acting especially the scene when George gets a call from Jim’s nephew telling him that Jim passed away. With close-up at very close range I could feel his emotional roller coaster. Firstly disbelief, then he tries to pull himself together to afterwards, rushing in to Charley’s house, bursting into tears. Man, I can imagine how difficult it was to play it.
Julianne Moore is adorable as always, playing Charley, a bit neurotic but convincing as a British lady. She appears in several scenes not enough for me to dedicate a review to her role.
Tom Ford, the director & scriptwriter. Expectations were high when it leaked to the press that Mr Gucci was going to direct a movie. Ford succeeded in my eyes expressing Falconer’s loneliness. You can feel his sorrow by looking at the scenes, the music and the expressions. Some scenes are slow but not boring. Tom Ford passed as a debutant director. I only wonder would he reach this same level of working should he try to direct another movie. I need to be convinced by him one more time through a movie with a theme which isn’t close to mr Ford’s real life (in case you don’t know being gay in fashion world is well accepted).
Colin Firth, Julianne Moore and Ginnifer Goodwin (George’s neighbour) are well-known. Others are less well-known such as Matthew Goode (Jim), Nicholas Hoult (Kenny, George’s student, watch out Hoult stars the upcoming ‘Clash of the Titans’), Jon Kortajarena (Carlos, a guy Georges accidently meets at a drugstore). This Jon happened coincidentally to have modelled for Ford’s Ads, Gucci’s shades to be exact. Those are beautiful men, not only just handsome but beautiful like Michaelangelo’s David.
Closing this review I come to a conclusion, A Single Man is a sad love story, ended abruptly and unwillingly by fate.