A Single Man
Directed by Tom Ford
Starring: Colin Firth, Nicholas Hoult, Julianne Moore, and Matthew Goode
In 2009 Colin Firth was nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of George Falconer in A Single Man. The film also features the talents of Julianne Moore, Nicholas Hoult, and Matthew Goode. In addition to Firth’s Oscar nomination the film would also earn the AFI Movie of the Year Award. This is the directorial debut of Tom Ford who also wrote and produced the film.
A year ago George Falconer lost his love of 16 years when Jim (Goode) died in a car accident. Now as he seeks to move on he finds himself stuck in neutral. Today he’s decided to kill himself. His everyday life revolves around the past and the people around him who he has begun to despise. As he moves through with his day he meets some new friends as well as some old. His friend Charley (Moore) seeks to make a life with him despite the obvious divide his sexual orientation has created. He is also pursued by a student Kenny (Hoult) who seems interested in who George really is. In the end George’s plan is subject to fate, not the will of the man.
This is an artistic film with a unique visual approach to the story. The story meanders through the film with little direction except the obvious goal George has to end his life. The music is enchanting and works well within the film. I think the theme to this film is one of the most beautiful I’ve heard in some time. Firth is amazing as a broken and yet enlightened man. He seems unwilling to open fully despite his desire to be free from secrecy.
Any criticism I have relates to the pace of the film. Once in a while the film gets moving only to come to a screeching halt for no apparent reason. I was able to overcome this, but I’m not sure that most would be as patient.
This film drives several points that I’m not sure I totally grasped. The fact that George is gay seems of little importance in the end. I would suggest this film for anyone who enjoys a slower paced film with a deeper meaning. I give this film 3.9 stars out of 5.
Running Time: 99 minutes