Film: A Single Man
From: The Weinstein Company
Cast includes: Colin Firth (Bridget Jones’s Diary), Julianne Moore (The Hours), Nicholas Hoult (About a Boy), Matthew Goode
Screenplay/direction: Tom Ford (Designer for Gucci 1994-2004)
Genre: Drama, based on a novel by Christopher Isherwood
In brief: It’s not easy for George in the morning. It’s been 8 months since Jim’s car went off the road, killing him instantly. Jim used to wake up happy, but George “needs time in the morning to become George.” We watch as he takes out his suit, tie, shirt… touches up the polish on his black shoes. It's 1962… the year of the Cuban missile crisis. Gradually we get the details of George’s grief. After living together as lovers for 16 years, Jim’s death came as a devastating shock. A cousin called with the news… Jim’s parents didn’t want him to call. The funeral is for family only… and that definitely doesn’t include George. But today’s going to be different… George can finally see his future. And we can see that George has put a revolver into his briefcase.
George is a professor at a local Los Angeles college. Everyday he looks into student eyes that “look back with a bovine stupor that suggest he’s speaking in a foreign language.” It’s not easy to connect. But today, maybe George will talk from the heart. The topic is hate, fear and invisible minorities. It doesn’t matter what the minority is… “if it’s visible, there’s fear. Fear, after all, is our real enemy.” As George goes through his day, thinking he clearly sees his future, there are many distractions… an old girlfriend who “needs a dose of George” and Kenny, a student who seems to want more than just a good grade.
Based on a groundbreaking novel by Christopher Isherwood, A Single Man depicts the grief of an ordinary man who’s lost his partner. It just happens that his partner was another man, instead of a wife. A Single Man is an exquisitely beautiful film, thanks to the direction of Tom Ford. It’s compelling and interesting, but it’s not fast moving. We watch the day unfold through George’s eyes. We notice all the meticulously crafted details of his life, and we realize that each detail is important. An acquaintance tells him “lovers are like busses… you just have to wait a little while and another one will come along.” That’s clearly not how George sees it, but as we go through George’s day, we hope for something that will alter the future he sees for himself. And maybe something will.
4 popped kernels
Beautiful and unpredictable... the acting was wonderful, the production was perfect
Primary Audience: Grown-ups
Gender Appeal: Any audience
Distribution: Mainstream limited release
Tempo: Cruses comfortably
Visual Style: High-end production
Character Development: Intense
Social Significance: Thought provoking