A Single Man
- Release Date:February 25, 2010
- Running time:101 minutes
- Film Worth:$15.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
At the heart of this poignant, exquisitely told story is Firth’s brilliant performance.
Fashion designer turned filmmaker Tom Ford lends his creative eye to Christopher Isherwood's celebrated novel of yearning and desire with considerable success. Like fellow artists Julian Schnabel or Steve McQueen, the debut director attacks the frame in a fresh and distinctive manner, enabling viewers a rare opportunity to luxuriate in thoughtful, deliberate composition. In many ways, A Single Man stands as a companion to Todd Haynes' Far From Heaven, not only for its visual aesthetic, but in tackling its core subject with clarity and strength.
The social radicalism that will soon change the face of America has yet to arrive in a sleepy corner of Los Angeles, 1962. George (Colin Firth), an ex-pat Brit and professor of English, is suddenly and utterly alone after his partner of sixteen years (Matthew Goode) dies in a car accident. Unable or unwilling to speak his lover's name, George plans the only exit strategy that he sees available. An old friend from London is unable to help (a splendid Julianne Moore in Redgrave mode), but then an eager student (Nicholas Hoult) steps up to the plate and everything changes again.
A Single Man flirts with the precious and appears, at times, a little constipated by its own cleverness - certainly the end feels like something of a cheat. Yet it's also a searing reflection of a period when men were socially awkward and gay men socially blocked. Clever men like George didn't stand a chance. It is ultimately Firth's outstanding performance on which the entire film hangs. Always a considered actor, his subtly nuanced delivery is packed with jangling nerves and aching emotion, and is a perfect match to Ford's challenging style.
A Single Man is considerably more than middle aged misery. It's a poignant examination of longing and grief and hope. It is a knockout.