Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Single Man - Mini-Review

Dear Mr. Ford,

I became interested in your film A Single Man long ago, when I first heard about who was starring.  I love Colin Firth, Julianne Moore and Matthew Goode, and the story sounded very interesting.  I loved the beautiful trailers, and the production looked gorgeous.  I didn't expect to be so incredibly moved by your film, your directorial debut.

When I saw A Single Man, I first started to cry during the scene when Colin Firth's character George finds out that his lover of 16 years has died in a car crash.  You only see Colin Firth react to Jon Hamm's voice on the phone, who tells him "only family" can attend the funeral.  I was riveted by Colin Firth's performance, an amazing one for an actor I have followed for years.  You revealed new depths to his acting, especially in that scene.  At the end of the movie, I started to cry, and I sat watching the credits until the theater emptied.  When I was alone, I started sobbing.  I have not had a reaction like that to a film in I can't remember how long.  I was loudly sobbing -- me, a surburban homemaker, so immensely moved by this beautiful film about a man's loneliness and grief.  I may not have been your intended audience, and some may think this is a niche "gay" film.  But George's pain is both universal, and specific to him and his time.  I'm tearing up again just remembering and thinking about A Single Man.

George moves through this one particular day in his life, and he is determined to commit suicide, as live is not worth living with out the love of his live.  At first, I thought there was something wrong with my eyesight, as the film is often in very muted colors and looks washed out, but occasionallly becomes vivid with color.  I realized that it reflects George -- his life is muted and gray, and only comes into brilliant color and focus when he interacts with a few people that day.  One of his students reaches out to him, he meets a sexy hustler, and he spends dinner with his old friend (Julianne Moore) who wishes they had been more than just friends.

With your talents as a fashion designer, I expected the film to look beautiful, and it was truly stunning.  (Matthew Goode has never looked better!)  The production design was done by the same man from Mad Men, and every detail looked perfect.  It was beautiful to look at, but I didn't expect to be so incredibly moved.   Colin Firth very much deserved his Oscar nomination.  It's one of his career best performances.  Julianne Moore was also fabulous (and robbed of a supporting nomination in my opinion).

Thank you Mr. Ford, for making this film, and hope to look forward to many more from you.  Make me cry like that again.

Three and a half stars.  If you love Colin Firth as I do, then this is a must see film.  Just watch this scene where he finds out Jim, his lover of 16 years, has died in a car accident:

That scene continues a little longer with his reaction, and that's when I first lost it watching this movie. Watch the trailer here.

Also, Terry Gross of Fresh Air interviewed both Tom Ford and Colin Firth. Interestingly, Colin Firth talks about how difficult the scene above was to do because it was filmed on election day, and he was so happy that Obama won!

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