A love affair with life… and the occasional interest

A Single Man…

Recently I was able to finally watch Tom Ford’s first venture into the film industry. The former creative designer for Gucci and YSL created a masterpiece of a movie which is based on a novel by writer Christopher Isherwood. Colin Firth stars as George Falconer, a depressed college professor who has lost his lover of 16 years and feels like life has lost its meaning. With the intent taking his life at the end of the day, Falconer finds himself looking at each minute of life with new found perspective. Throughout the movie, flashbacks of his lover Jim (Matthew Goode), intercede and provide a backdrop for happier times. Times and moments like one scene where the two are reading, George a book about  Metamorphosis and Jim, Breakfast at Ti fanny’s. Jim talks about how even if he died right then and there he would be happy because moments like these are the ones that actually matter. “What could be better that sharing this moment with you”, Jim’s words touch George and give us insight into the agony of his current life without Jim. Colin Firth’s performance is so exceptional in some instances that it really foreshadows his Oscar win this year. His reaction to the phone call that brings news of his partner’s death is one that truly embodies the feelings of human loss. His facial expressions during this scene evoked such sadness and genuine feeling that I couldn’t help but empathize with such tragic news. During his day at school, the calmness that George carries with him, leaves many he comes across puzzled and not sure what to think. One such person, a student named Kenny Potter played by (Nicholas Hoult). My favorite actor of the movie other than Colin, I found myself placing myself in his character. Kenny plays an unassuming student who truly find an interest in George and is perhaps the only character who really knows what is going on and goes out of his way to befriend his professor not only because he feels he needs a friend but because he thinks  George might have an insight that he needs in his own life. Throughout the movie there are flashes of color that come in related to Georges emotions. These scenes are so beautiful and give profound insight into the subtle things that light up Falconer’s mood. As he plans his final hours plays out ways to not leave a bloody mess for the maid he realizes that he has just one more event to take care of. His best friend Charley, played by  (Julianne Moore), had invited him for a dinner date. He follows through and the two reminisce about happier times, dance , and argue about how miserable they have become. My favorite scene shows the two characters dancing, drinking, and sharing memories that show the bond that they have created throughout their lives, even as George knows it is the last time he is seeing Charley. Julianne Moore give such a refreshing and very realistic performance  that I have never seen from her before. Eventually they part and George goes back to his house next door to realize that he can’t really go through it without a drink. So he runs to the nearby bar where a previous flashback shows the day he first met Jim, a night in which the two meet outside the same crowded bar both alone like some divine coincidence.  Eventually finding themselves rained on they go inside where a beautiful but inebriated woman asks Jim to buy her a drink to which Jim responds that he’s sorry but he is already taken. Back in the present he realizes he has been followed by none other than his student Kenny. The two share a drink while George, curious to why Kenny is going out of his way to talk and meet with him, finds himself venturing into a possibility that he might actually be interested in him. Eventually Kenny, after a conversation about living in the now and present Kenny proposes they go out for a swim as a test to George. George becomes uplifted by this proposal and the two run out an go skinny dipping in the sea. Back at George’s house Kenny takes care of a cut on George’s head casually brushing his head eventually spending the night to keep George from carrying out his plan. I finished the movie with a new outlook into life and how each moment, no matter how unimportant, can really become a measure of how beautiful life is and its multiple possibilities. We each yearn for someone to cure the human condition that is loneliness.

Matthew Goode and Tom Ford

Kenny (Nicholaus Hoult)

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One response

  1. just watched this incredible movie a couple of weeks ago and simply, utterly adored it! such complex characters and depth of though was marvelous! and altogether with two beautiful men (George’s 16-years lover and the sexy playboy he met a short while during his drifting last moments)… quite a cinematographic masterpiece

    May 14, 2012 at 5:01 pm

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