Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Single Man - Don't Hate This Movie Because It's Beautiful

In our current time of folksy and populist sentiment, I read some early comments on just the trailer for "A Single Man" that labeled it pretentious or worse the "e" word (elitist). Well just forget all of that if you have not seen it. This atmospheric movie about grief directed by Tom Ford and starring Colin Firth, Julianna Moore among others is a beautifully made movie. The 1964 novel by Christopher Isherwood is a first person story with a lot of inner monologue and tells the story of a middle aged college professor who is mourning the loss of his male lover in a era where sexual orientation was only whispered about in most situations.
How to portray the inner life of a character has challenged many a movie maker but Tom Ford takes all of the elements that could have failed and succeeds for the most part. Don't go away from this though expecting a "downer" because there is genuine humor here. Colin Firth plays excellently droll opposite Julianna Moore and Nicholas Hoult ( a flirtatious student who you will recognize from BBC's runaway hit "Skins" and earlier "About A Boy"). I especially love Moore and Firth together. They act out a genuinely sad but funny scenario minus the silly baggage gay story-lines are often saddled with. Think Will & Grace if Will had not been essentially neutered and Grace drank too much.  One last thought... the above trailer, I think, tries to misdirect from the gay subject matter but the movie never does.
Now I am off to flex my "mocking" muscles and make notes for my review of "Twilight: Eclipse"