Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A Single Man

The themes of this movie are very interesting. The plot is fascinating. The script works for the most part. Most of the acting is good to great. And the direction is often very good. So why didn't I absolutely love this movie?

The film is about a gay English professor, set in 1962, who has been grieving over his partner's death months earlier in a car accident. He can't share his grief with anyone other than his friend Julianne Moore who quite fancies Firth herself.

The movies begins after he has decided to commit suicide. The movie takes place on the day that he plans on killing himself in the evening.

Positives:
Colin Firth

Colin Firth's glasses.

The fantastic house that Colin Firth lives in.

The relationship between Firth and Julianne Moore. I loved the scene where she was putting on her makeup to pretty herself up for her evening with Firth. I also loved the dance scene between the two of them.

The themes of fear and paranoia leading to us giving up our civil liberties felt very 2009 not 1962. I guess those themes are timeless, huh?

The handwringing over society's loss of manners. It's been a long road down, hasn't it?

The comedy of the scene where Firth goes over different ways to kill himself so as not to leave a mess.

I didn't mind Jon Hamm being the other voice on the phone when Firth finds out that his partner has been killed in the car accident. The way that Firth keeps a stiff upper lip even when he finds out that he's not allowed to go to the funeral is heartbreaking.

The whole hating on the boy next door stuff

The discussion with the girl next door at the bank.

Ginnifer Goodwin from Big Love. I love her.

Firth getting caught staring at the family next door while on the can and then getting busted for watching.

The first scene where Firth dreams how beautiful the car wreck of his partner must have looked.

Negatives:
Some of the scenes especially in the first half was just way too stylized. The black and white flashback scene with Firth and his boyfriend reminded me of an early 90s Obsession for Men ad. And the color of the film stock dramatically changing based on Firth's mood didn't do that much for me.

Every single person that Firth came across in the movie was so incredibly hot that it was kind of distracting. That is, except for the gay Spanish hustler that he meets at the convenience store. That part needed to be played by a sizzling hot dude.

The movie made it seem like it was the easiest thing in the world to have gay sex in 1962. All you had to do was get out of your car and you could find some action. Jamie pointed out that the scene where Firth meets his boyfriend was so easy that it was ludicrous.

The college kid that Firth befriends ruined a lot of this for me. The actor didn't pull the role off for me. What was his motivation? Adventure? Sex? Being a good samaritan? I didn't get where he was coming from and I didn't buy it. Since this part of the film ended up being so incredibly important, Ford needed to cast a better actor. I guess he was too busy casting the most beautiful people in the world rather than looking for good actors?

I guess the ending worked but it also felt a bit silly.

I'm quite interested to read the book. Apparently the whole he's going to commit suicide at the end of the day aspect of the movie isn't in the book so I'd like to see how that works since it plays such a key aspect of the plot of the movie. Plus maybe I can understand the college boy a bit better if I were to read the book.

Directed by Tom Ford
2009
BAM

1 comment:

thenoiseboy said...

I get what you're saying about the college boy. I guess I felt like Firth carried EVERY scene he was in -- which was every scene in the movie -- so the less-than-stellar acting from the college kid didn't bother me as much.