For a while, I thought A Single Man was about Julianne Moore going on some dates with Colin Firth and eventually finding out he is a homosexual. Then, everyone comes to terms with his homosexuality, but not so much that they stop referring to him as A SINGLE MAN (Put me in charge of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences immediately!). In actuality, A Single Man was about loss, heartbreak, getting older, moving on, living life (hey-a, hey-a, hey-a), the Cuban missile crisis, proper winter driving precautions, and cardiac health. At times it was subtle, at times it was frank, sometimes it was artsy, but all the time it was a great movie!
A Single Man follows Colin Firth’s George Falconer on a day in his life eight months after his longtime partner, Jim Ackerly (Matthew Goode), dies in a car accident in Denver while visiting family. George also has to deal with the radio telling him about the Cuban missile crisis (BUMMER). Let me say, that while Firth’s portrayal is superb and elevates him out of his sweater-wearing typecasting, the most impressive thing about George Falconer is that name! Seriously, we should all get plaques and name tags with “George Falconer” on them, just to get some of that name power. Ironically, there is no falconry or Falcon Punches in the film.
Julianne Moore plays George’s neighbor/ good friend Charley. A couple times, Charley and George were intimate, nakedly, but that was a different time in their life. More importantly, Charley is British. This leads to the point that almost no one uses their real voice in this film! Julianne Moore of Fayetteville, North Carolina, USA, uses an English accent! Matthew Goode and Nicholas Hoult probably say “God save the Queen” in their personal lives, but they are just some Iowan corn farm boys in this film, figuratively speaking. Colin Firth gets to use his real voice, but he probably tweaked some things. That’s how people win Oscars.
Much like Watchmen, we get to know Matthew Goode’s character through flashbacks. That reminds me of something else. . .
IS THIS A TIE-IN MOVIE?
“DON’T TELL ME WHAT MEDIA I CAN’T CROSSOVER WITH!”
This movie is not a Lost tie-in.
Jim seems like a great guy though! He was in the Navy and enjoys reading Breakfast at Tiffany’s. He also really loves George Falconer, and George loves him! So, George’s difficulty with Jim’s passing is understandable.
People keep noticing that George looks bad on this particular day (He hasn’t been sleeping well). Kenny, a student from one of George’s English literature classes, notices pretty hard. To make up for his troubles, Kenny buys George a pencil sharpener an starts stalking George. Such interest works out in the end though (NO SPOILERZ).
A Single Man makes use of some pretty blunt visual tools. In certain instances, a scene will suddenly brighten after growing progressively darker for a bit. It’s a trick that is done well and fits everything the movie goes for. Way to bring on the smiles, A Single Man!
Another thing I appreciated in this film was its use of Super Cameos. Lee Pace! Ginnifer Goodwin! Don Draper! That actress from that Fox show about being Satan’s daughter! One of the actresses from Cruel Intentions 2! Tanqueray gin! So many cameos, so many times I said “Hey, it’s that actor or actress I recognize!”, so many times the only other person in the theater said “Shut yer trap, kiddo!”
The movie has some darkly comic moments but its emotions mostly pluck the heartstrings. At times, it is a hard film journey, but its a great film journey! Right now, my Oscar ballot is Team Colin Firth.