Well, well, well. What to say? I watched “A Single Man” the other night. Phenominal, stunning, beautiful, and controversial are some of few words that can accurately describe the movie. I know I am a tad bit late to the punch on this film. It came out longer than a year ago. Back in 09′. But oh well. Moving on! The renowned Tom Ford, former Gucci designer, took to creating a film company called Fade to Black. The man knew what he was doing when he put himself into the business, no doubt! With stunning cinematography, choosing the cast, acting, writing, and effects… the film is impacable. Apparently it is also a novel written by Christopher Isherwood, “A Single Man”. I should have read it before I watched it! Shame on me! Julianne Moore won my heart with her small appearnance in 30 Rock season 4 with her stereotypical heavy Boston accent and cheesy but believable role. As my friend, Melynda, said “She has been in a lot of gay movies lately…” I realized that what she says is true! “The Hours”, “The Kids are all Right”, this one… any that I am missing? But if she was in the sixties… Moore would have fit in perfectly! Colin Firth is on fire with his recent role in “The King’s Speech”, but I would say “A Single Man” is his second best role. He acted the role as a depressed gay professor very well. He did not make the stereotypical gay voice or dress in extreme fashion-forward clothing. His role was subtle and very believable. Now the entire setting… beautiful. LA is visually stunning, and yes it could have been the makers doing to make it that exquisite… but I wanted to be there. And I have been to LA, some parts are nice… but this was like icing on cake! I would have loved to live in LA during the 60’s with Charley’s extreme house that has an orange tree boulevard hallway type thing! And the supporting characters really make the viewer think about how people would really react to homosexuality back then.
The setting takes place in LA in the sixties. George(Firth) is a professor whose decease lover is Jim. Charley(Moore), an old friend of George’s, is this gorgeous lonely single lady who is head over heels for George. He is depressed about the death of his lover, Jim, who died in a car crash. He finds himself being reminded of Jim’s death through other men, Charley, and the beauty in everyday life. All of these calamities make him sadly depressed and suicidal.
It is the best film I have ever seen, cinematography wise. EVER. And that is a big thing, cause I keep my eye on the camera movement in films, and in this… it impacted me. Now whenever George found something beautiful or attractive in the film… the lighting immediatley became saturated and full of color. And once his mind is taken away from that beauty it subtly goes back to the dull-ish colors. I think that this represents George’s longing for love and for his diceased Jim. Twas a sad film. A lot of symbolism in bits like the neighborhood child crushing the monarch butterfly, a repeated motif of guns and the color blue. And the eye. Classic directors move as my film teacher taught me. When their is a closeup of an eye in a film, it portrays the sense of sight and what that character sees in their eyes. I pitied George, in the end. I won’t give it away. I feel for the homosexual community. To be judged by everyone as a “freak” is hard and should not happen. Both Ford and Isherwood display the background of that really well.
It could be a love story between a man and a woman. Or it could be a love story between two men. Depends on how the viewer takes it all in. For those of you who have not seen it and are nervous… I warn you about nudity. Nothing perverse, but there is some definite uncomfortable nudity in the film. No sex or anything… just nudes, some suicidal issues and a controversial topic. OH, and it is Rated R, just in case if the excessive word “nude” didn’t clear that up. It is a definite high fav just because of the cinematography. That really made it for me. Ford displays the 60’s perfectly. They chose the right actors. Chose the right stylists and costume design. Chose the right special effects people. EVERYTHING. It is sensuous art! Impacable indeed. 5/5 stars for “A Single Man”! If only I had read the book before I saw the movie….