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For me it was more than a movie. Only a strange experience and a deep travel. Beautiful and harsh, delicate and bitter, a kind of jewelery and definition of life, about abdications and small gesture, about love as a cinnamon bread, it is one of films in which every word is only skin of a invisible snake. Colin Firth is magnificent. And the mixture between director and Isherwood is a really surprise. A story about a gay professor is , in fact, map of ordinary searches. So, the nuances are all. The orange slices, the usual gesture, the faces, remains of past, shadow of lost person and the kiss as key of different levels of a single world. Julianne Moore is the same. And Nicholas Hoult is the secret ingredient. A film like a piece of Chopin in the skin of Mahler. A game in fall colors , with small toy, in a glass house.
For a long time, I have been wanting to watch 'A Single Man' and
finally got the opportunity last night. It really is a beautiful film.
Fashion icon Tom Ford cowrites and directs his first film based on
Isherwood's novel. Thus, to an extent, 'A Single Man' is expected to
dazzle the viewers with its breathtaking visuals. Ford's attention to
detail is first rate. The cinematography, editing and visual effects
and score are superb. The score especially contributes beautifully to
the atmosphere. What I find particularly outstanding about the visuals
is that the images are quite simple and yet the way Ford captures and
presents them through the protagonist's point of view just reminds you
that there's beauty all around us, just the way George notices.
As phenomenal as the visuals are 'A Single Man' is not about the 'look'. It's far from superficial. Ford really understands his characters and what Isherwood was telling the reader in his novel. I do not want to reveal more about the story about one could tell that Ford put a lot of heart into this.
Needless to say, Colin Firth delivers a transcendent performance. He is one of the few actors who can completely own a role and make it his as though its tailor-made for him. Julianne Moore is equally remarkable as George's best friend who has always silently loved him while the other part of her unsuccessfully tried to keep everything together. Their scenes together are both delightful and heartbreaking. Nicholas Hoult definitely holds his own and Matthew Goode is brilliant.
Ford's balance of gloss and subtlety is remarkable. He has created something that is visually stunning, atmospherically tense and emotionally engaging. I'm very interested to see what he will do in his next directorial venture.
I must say "A Single Man" is certainly one of the better and most
haunting dramas of the past few years that I've viewed. It proves that
the past can haunt a person especially a lost love can lead to a broken
heart that will conquer one's life. Yet thru it all memories are fond
and the best medicine to last before the terminal heartbreak literally
takes a life away. Always remember memories can't be taken away from
Set in 1962 Los Angeles, CA during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis Colin Firth(one of the best actors in the business)is George Falconer a British professor who after losing his lover Jim starts to grieve and feel the pain of the loss. Slowly and sadly it's eating him up inside. The film is mostly a flashback of reflections and memories of the good times he had with Jim, as the visuals from director Tom Ford are painful yet dreamy pleasures of escape. During this time George's only comfort is the company and friendship he has with Charley(in Julianne Moore's best supporting performance)a female friend now in L.A. who he once romanced in England, yet despite her charm and appeal this still can't take the pain and loss away for George. So sadly as expected a grave end is reached. Overall this film is a great reflection of pain and loss it proves memories last forever even though they may not save us from death the spirit of them will live on. As "The Single Man" is one film that one's memory can reflect on.
First of, the acting was well done by Colin Firth, this movie was made
by an fashion designer and while watching the movie I just noticed
that..all the shots were incredible beautiful ! I love how Firth's
behavior just take over the whole movie, he reflects everything of what
man is after losing his lover.
He gave the year 2009 something to talk and think about.. really everything about this movie was very well made.. the outfits, the 60's, the music.. every scene was beautifully done..
My favorite scene is the scene where he hears by phone his partner just just had an accident and deceased.. Colin Firth radiated so much sadness and as a viewer, you are swept away..
During that whole scene, you hear complete silence.. which makes it more hard to stomach for the main character
Beautiful done by Director Tom Ford, very great debut ! And Colin Firth was fantastic so as Juliane Moore..
This film is great, really top-notch stuff.
Some people, walking into this film may think that its just a story about gay rights and that these ideologies will be forced down your throats, but its anything but.
This is not a film about human rights, it is a film about loss. I felt very moved at times by what the characters were facing.
A Single Man, is set in 1960's Los Angeles, in which a man who has recently lost his boyfriend decides to 'change it all' during the course of one day. Throughout this day we see his sadness, his happiness and the honesty of his poetic mind.
Colin Firth delivers a great performance, dancing between total bluntness and depression, yet still managing to produce a few laughs.
The chemistry between Matthew Goode and Colin Firth is really well done, the audience really begins to care about the two as a couple, yet they know that its only a flashback.
Juliane Moore is also good in her role, same goes to Nicholas Hault,
Tom Ford's direction is really well done, making the audience feel as though Colin Firth's character would.
The cinematography is noticeable, in that their are many symbolic elements seen throughout. However this can get a bit annoying, almost as if it were being shoved in the audiences face that 'this is good' or 'this is deeply meaningful'.
But all in all, I did enjoy this film, and it slightly bothers me that this is Tom Ford's only film, as he has great potential.
A Single Man= 7.6/10
Really well made and, given the director, there is no surprise that it
looks immaculate and extremely stylish. A great performance by Colin
Firth as George is the highlight of this piece. He is ably supported by
Julianne Moore who, as Charley, put on one of the best English accents
I've ever heard from an American on screen. Also worthy of note were
Nicholas Hoult as Kenny, Matthew Goode as Jim (in flashback), Jon
Kortajarena as Carlos and Ryan Simpkins as the neighbours pesky
daughter, Jennifer Strunk.
Although it's an extremely stylish and well made film I must admit I found it hard to watch despite Colin Firth's excellent performance. I guess the subject matter of the piece is something I don't find I have any interest in. Don't get me wrong, it's not a homophobic thing, I have had friends that are gay and it hasn't bothered me in the slightest. This one just didn't do a lot for me I'm afraid; if it had been made about a heterosexual couple I guess it would never have seen the light of day, and that's just where the problems begin. I think it's a story that has been told many times before but because it's about a gay man in the 60's and it was made by Tom Ford it's special. Well, for me, it wasn't all that special; I will, however, still give it a good score because I think it was very well made and I do appreciate its style and Colin Firth's performance.
SteelMonster's verdict: RECOMMENDED (Just).
My score: 6.0/10
You can find an expanded version of this review on my blog: Thoughts of a SteelMonster.
From the recreation of the period, to Colin Firth's career high performance, A Single Man is full of surprises and genuine brilliance. Firth plays a man struggling with the death of his significant other. A simple enough premise, and one that could go in a thousand directions. The best thing about the film is how Firth seems to be more okay than people give him credit for. Yes, he does dabble in suicide etc. But this is ultimately a feel good film. The feel good factor comes through thanks to some sly humor, such as Firth acting out being shot in the head.It has it's moments of simple power, never overplayed, and the soundtrack adds to the beautiful visuals. It doesn't quite know where to go after a certain point, but there's enough brilliance to justify multiple viewings.
What a film! I had read the book so was acquainted with the "Huxley" references.I was intrigued by the fact that Tom Ford was a fashion designer ( to be honest I had never heard of him) and now director of a film.I was pleasantly surprised, indeed more than that, amazed at his skill. The colouring of the film was exceptional: browns and blues, the sepias of the flashbacks.The clothes of Nicholas Hoult , the mohair sweater, in a pale beige contrasted with his blue eyes, a stroke of genius.The wall poster in the car park of the liquor commission of a pair of eyes, which were of course belonging to Sophia Loren. The chance meeting with the Spanish youth from Madrid who worn a James Dean outfit and was obviously a model rather than an actor.Julianne Moore was superb as a sixties rich dolly bird, all Green Onions and pop art dress. I really enjoyed this movie as much as I enjoyed the novella.Acting was superb, the cinematography a stroke of genius.
In this film we have Colin Firth playing George Falconer, a single man in his late 30's who's been ripped apart by the death of his partner. I was very impressed with Firth in this film; I would have never thought he had a character like that inside him. The film itself is beautiful, truly. The color changes very often as it shows past and future, Falconer was happy with his past but is upset with his future. It has a marvelous music score by Abel Korzeniowski that really brings out the best in the film. In my opinion, Tom Ford the director has created something so wonderful in his directorial debut. I read the book once the film was released so I could compare and oh boy was I satisfied with this movie. Tom Ford took tiny details from the book and transformed them into important scenes in this movie. Falconer often feels he is reliving his past and these past tense scenes really prove originality in the film. I enjoyed the supporting characters, all with real, honest and unique personalities. If I could some up this movie in one word it would be Artistic. A truly flaw free film with wonderful 1960's costumes and a stunning performance by a leading Actor.
The script by director Tom Ford, from a novel by Christopher Isherwood,
is autobiography squared. It is a slice of Tom Ford's life. It is also
a slice of Christopher Isherwood's life. The life depicted -- that of
an artsy homosexual intellectual in mid-century Los Angeles -- is
interesting enough. What's really good about the film, however, is how
skillfully the actors underplay the subtleties of homoerotic desire,
love, and loss. Viewers who aren't gay will appreciate the gay
experience without feeling put upon. Colin Firth in the lead is really
quite good. Julianne Moore, as his straight British friend, is a bit
manic, but that seems to be the role that was written for her. The two
homosexual relationships depicted are positively glowy by comparison.
The sets and costumes, like the music and hairdos, are all period
pieces and to die for.
What doesn't work is the story. It is a self-indulgent tear-jerker that goes nowhere good. The moral of the story seems to be, Life's a bitch, and then you die, so -- especially if you are gay -- enjoy it while you can. Deaths occur from time to time to illustrate this not terribly profound point. The result is a movie that is more style than substance.
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