Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Single Man

I did not get to go see The Adjustment Bureau, I had tried earlier this week because of the volume of people's voices being messed up in the theater it was playing in, so hopefully this weekend I'll be able to see it. So here is a review of a slightly older movie. A lot of this movie is about watching the events as they unfold, so I am going to do my best to spark an interest in you without giving away the movie. A Single Man was only released in 9 theaters in the country during its initial release in 2009. The movie is based on a book of the same name by English writer Christopher Isherwood and originally published in 1964. It grossed just 2 million dollars over it's estimated 7 million dollar budget. Colin Firth did win Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival for his role in it though. And this was a perfect movie for Colin Firth. The entire movie takes place in one day, November 20 1962. Everything about the movie that portrayed what year it was and was incredibly convincing. The movie would make any fan of Mad Men happy. All the clean cut suits, skinny ties, vintage cars, and beautiful homes had a nostalgic feel.Tom Ford Directed, Produced, and adapted the book to the screen. He is a well known fashion designer and also designed the costumes for all the members of the cast.

The acting was simply incredibly. Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, and Nicholas Hoult receive the most screen time and do a fantastic job with it. Many of the shots in the movie conveyed emotion through a silent exchange of facial expressions and looks. In the beginning of the movie a particular amount of effort is spent showing the eye of someone that George Falconer (Colin Firth) was conversing with. The cinematography was wonderful. Many wonderful shots in the suburbs of LA that George finds himself living in. The score of the movie was one of the most fitting I have ever heard. The notes and melody were always perfect for the situation.

This is definitely a sad movie. You get that from the start. George is in turmoil over the loss of his life's true love Jim (Matthew Goode). He had died in a car accident back in Colorado a time earlier while seeing his family. George doesn't describe himself as a gay man but that Jim was just the one for him, the fact that he was a man was inconsequential. You can clearly see that he is having trouble getting over his loss. The first of the movie gives an insight into the depressed life he leads. Charlie (Julianne Moore) is a friend that he has known since his time in England. She seems to live a typical early 60's suburban housewife life. A polished exterior but dig a little deeper and there are obvious wounds. The two get along well and George seems to find comfort in her.

He is an English professor at a university in LA. A highly regarded one at that. He has a student, Kenny (Nicholas Hoult), who he exchanges words with after class that day, and he ends up being an important character to the film. He seems to go about his day in a strange monotony. He looks rather pale and ill, and blames it on poor sleep from the night before. There is no real plot to this movie, just an observation of a man, in the early 60's. One who perceives life with dread for his past, an unfulfilled present, and death is his future (as are all our futures which he points out to Kenny).The hovering motif of fear is ever present in this movie. That of the Russians, the Cubans, "minorities", ourselves, and the decisions we make. The movie ends in a very fitting manner for such a movie, I was upset at first but in retrospect there was really no other way for it to have fittingly ended.

I would highly recommend this movie to those who enjoy a good storytelling. There isn't much of a story to tell, but the way that it is done is where this movie truly makes it's mark.

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