Friday, July 9, 2010

A Single Man (2009)

A Single Man was very good. Extremely smart and well acted by all, it had an ending that made me feel like I should have seen it coming all along. I appreciate an ending like that because I didn't see it coming all along. I'm going to spoil it soon, so stop reading if you haven't seen the film.

There was a featurette on the DVD in which Tom Ford, writer, director, and famous fashion designer, spoke in great length about the theme. He was very clear that to him, this is a film about living each day as though it were your last. That's not exactly what I got from A Single Man. In fact, I've long thought that the idea of living each day like it's your last is pretty absurd. It's something people like to say about their dead loved ones to make themselves feel better. Because not only is it rediculous in a literal sense, (let's all quit our jobs and hang out with our families in some dream location we've never been able to afford a trip to!) but a person cannot feel that feeling of finality (that makes A Single Man such an interesting film) unless they know it's their last day alive...or at least very seriously believe it to be.

That's the key to A Single Man. What does the world look like when you know you're looking at it for the last time? Can you have that day where you see things in a special way and still, by choice, decide to never see them again? In George's case, the answer is no. But, in a way, his plan to kill himself is a gift. It's what allows him to see beauty and joy on a day that will be his last whether he chooses it or not. Because most times, people live their last day the same way they live any other.

I obviously enjoyed this movie a great deal. I did find the visual indicator of special moments a little overwrought. The way saturated color turns on and off became distracting and I wished a more subtle method of indication had been used.

Oh! And Nicholas Hoult. I can't leave out a mention of him. Truthfully, I didn't find him all that great in this. His American accent sounds studied and forced. Not awful - it didn't sound British - just not natural. Unlike Matthew Goode who was pitch perfect as George's deceased lover. I mention Nicholas Hoult because he's often refered to as "the kid from About A Boy" but he should be refered to as Tony. He will forever be Tony to me. Totally in love with himself, selfish, cruel Tony. From Skins. In case you didn't know :) It's on InstantWatch on Netflix. Go meet Tony. (And Sid! And Maxxie! And Chris!)

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