Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Single Man

A strong story is what makes a movie for the Filmfreak Mafia and A Single Man is a wonderful example. Based on the Christopher Isherwood of the same title, the story follows George's continuing morning over the death of his partner Jim. The story is set in the early 1960's when same sex couples were forced to be very private about their relationships, even in liberal enclaves like Los Angeles. Even though George and Jim were together for nearly two decades but he was still not welcome at Jim's funeral. If not for a single compassionate relative of Jim's, George would not even have known about Jim's accident.

Directed and co-written by fashion designer Tom Ford, the film is his directing debut and shows a polished end product which utilizes the rich narrative and actors performances over technical production elements to engage the audience for the entire 1 hour 39 minutes. The only additional element that Ford utilizes in the mesmerizing music of Abel Korzeniiwski which almost becomes an additional character by its haunting presence throughout the movie.

The most simple and possibly under valued scene in A Single Man is when George sees a dog in a car at the supermarket similar to the two dogs that he lost in Jim's accident. Jim was found with the male dog, but the female dog was never found. The dog George is now seeing is a female. The owner returns and George lingers at the car to the point of awkwardness. This simple throwaway scene is given an immense impact thanks to Colin Firth's performance.

A Single Man is a film which shows how story can exist on its own without the need for special effects as enhancement or hindrance. This is the sort of filmmaking that the world needs more of but unfortunately is in short supply.

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