A Single Man
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A SINGLE MAN is based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Isherwood. Set in Los Angeles in 1962, at the height of the Cuban missile crisis, it is the story of a British college professor (Colin Firth) who is struggling to find meaning to his life after the death of his long time partner. The story is a romantic tale of love interrupted, the isolation that is an inherent part of the human condition, and, ultimately, the importance of the seemingly smaller moments in life. 2009 Critics’ Choice Awards nominations include Colin Firth (Best Actor), Julianne Moore (Best Actress), Best Screenplay and Best Art Direction. 2010 Golden Globe nominations include Colin Firth (Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama), Julianne Moore (Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture) and Best Original Score - Motion Picture.
Colin Firth gives the performance of a lifetime in A Single Man, a drama directed and adapted for the screen by fashion designer Tom Ford, who clearly has a deft vision and ability in the world of film as well. A Single Man is based on a novel by Christopher Isherwood, and Ford's--and Firth's--gift is bringing the inner-turmoil world of the novel to believable, and devastating, life on the screen. Firth may be best known as a dashing romantic-comedy hero (Pride and Prejudice, the Bridget Jones films), but in A Single Man he demonstrates nuance and depth that will stay with the viewer long after the film is over. Firth plays George, a gay British professor, living a life of true, if closeted, bliss with his partner, Jim (Matthew Goode), in the straitlaced early '60s. When Jim dies suddenly at the beginning of the film, George wrestles with how to go on without his true love--and with never being able ever to express his grief openly. The film flashes back to scenes of George and Jim and their dogs, scenes awash in warm tones, and then forward to the present, shot in subtle sepia tones that show joy has disappeared from George's life. Yet there are flashes of hope and feeling: one brief scene--showing George's seeing a dog similar to one the couple had owned, and drawing his face close to the dog's for a familiar and comforting scent--lasts but a moment yet resonates that grief and loss are felt the same by everyone, no matter what they have lost. A Single Man's cast also includes Julianne Moore, playing a complex role as George's best friend and long-ago lover--one of the only people on the planet who can know all that George is going through, yet with vast vulnerabilities of her own. Nicholas Hoult plays a student who reaches out to George, saying, "I guess I just thought you looked like you could use a friend." But it's Firth who triumphs in the film, and who drives the complex emotions--all true, all rewarding--that hold A Single Man aloft and give it its impact. A Single Man can hold its own against Brokeback Mountain as a story of love and loss that transcends any single genre. --A.T. Hurley
Stills from A Single Man (Click for larger image)
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The Making of A Single Man
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Top customer reviews
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Not to be missed, it garnered several international film nominations and awards for the director and lead Colin Firth. My fave gay themed film.
Colin Firth plays a Gay college professor who has lost his partner very tragically after a strong and beautiful 16 year relationship. His insurmountable grief is captured in the intermittent flashbacks chronicling his relationship. His agony is exacerbated by the fact he that he only found out about his partner's death because of the kindness of a stranger who felt a moral obligation to call him and apprise him of the tragic event.
His lover's family obviously did not recognize or validate their partnership, as he was told that the funeral services are for "family only".
He then plans to commit suicide for lack of any purpose in his life. But thanks to an endearing friendship with Julianne Moore, and a sweet, beautiful college student who sees his pain, empathizes with him, and forms a special bond with him, the dirty deed is put on hold at least for now.
This unselfish and caring young man seems willing to do whatever is necessary to help heal this broken man, even with physical intimacy if things were to go there, but the endearing non-sexual bond they share supersedes any sexual needs they have, so there is no consummation otherwise.
When the young man finally spends the night at Firth's home, he sleeps on the couch with Firth's gun next to him. After finding the gun in a drawer, he wants to ensure that Firth doesn't use it on himself. Will he be be successful???
This is real substance here brought to you by a great filmmaker, Tom Ford. It's a movie purchase you won't forget or regret.
Amid amazingly beautiful visual artistry, we see George subtly experiencing the world around him as he moves through his presumptive last day. After George delivers what he believes to be his final lecture with an uncharacteristic lack of restraint, an inspired young student confides to George his own sense of fear and isolation. George seeks out Charlotte, his long time confidant and friend who was a lover briefly and still clings to the hope she and George might have a future together. However, Charlotte's insensitive minimizing of George's relationship with Jim and her persistence in lamenting their lack of a long term sexual relationship, makes George realize even Charlotte doesn't understand who he really is.
Tom Ford simply takes the audience into another world by using stunningly beautiful imagery to create Georges world and convey his loneliness and detachment. I predict Colin Firth will belatedly win a make up Academy Award this year for his performance in this movie and he surely should.
The art direction and flow of this film take you into this journey of one day in this man's life, it is a stellar performance by Colin Firth, excellent direction by Tom Ford with superb set design. My only critique is sometimes the score felt a little overarching but I am picky when it comes to sound design most people love it!
Most recent customer reviews
Great performances by Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.