Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #171 A Single Man

In Uncategorized on March 26, 2011 at 10:15 PM

Movie #171  A Single Man

(2009, US, d. Tom Ford)

A Single Man is a great example of the cheesiest message in a film being put to the best use. It’s proof that no matter how cliche a theme is, if it’s done right, it still has the potential to impact you. A Single Man is about living in today and treating every day like it’s your last. Colin Firth plays a gay university professor in Santa Monica in 1962 whose lover has just died in a car crash. The film’s events take place over the course of a single day – a day at the end of which, Firth plans on killing himself. Throughout the day, he begins to see reasons to live again and begins to second doubt his decision. Let me be clear: The film is not cheesy; in fact, it’s one of the “realest” portrayals of homosexuality and depression I’ve seen so far. The magic of the film comes from the subtlety and the performances. Ford’s direction is both subtle and direct, subjective and objective. It is a compliment to a debut director who obviously knows what he’s doing. The real star of the film, though, is Mr. Firth. Winner of the Venice Film Festival’s prestigious Best Actor award and nominated for an Oscar with his performance, Firth delivers every line with a poignancy and regality of a studied man and the pain and loss of a broken one. It is a performance both quiet and loud, delicate and provoking. The only real downfall with the film, in my opinion, lies with the editing. For the most part, it was ok, but there were moments strewn here and there that really brought attention to itself for no reason at all. And small slips here and there in a film to be considered in the Oscar race contention should not be taken lightly.

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