Author Topic: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)  (Read 68800 times)

Offline Sason

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Re: "A Single Man"
« Reply #110 on: March 01, 2010, 05:23:24 pm »

I'm still focused on the fact that you and your friend took off your clothes in the theater!   :o


:)


 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


umm....well, you know.....this is, after all, Sweden..... that's what we're supposed to do, all the time....   ;) ;D

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Offline Kerry

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Re: "A Single Man"
« Reply #111 on: March 02, 2010, 02:07:15 am »

Christopher Isherwood & Don Bachardy,” by David Hockney, 1968

<Spoilers!>

I saw A Single Man  this morning and still feel somewhat shell-shocked. It’s probably too early for me to review it. It’s still too raw. I need more time to think about it. And thinking about it is exactly what I can’t seem to stop doing.

More a meditation than a movie, A Single Man  came close to being a perfect movie for me.

I was entirely enveloped within George’s grief. Colin Firth made George’s grief palpable. It was so overpowering, I could practically taste it. I wanted to embrace George. Embrace him and tell him that he had so many blessings. Embrace him and tell him that “time heals all wounds”, even though I would have felt shamefully unqualified to do so. I empathized emphatically with George in his searing, all-engulfing grief. His tragic, lonely, empty, impeccably groomed, immaculate, single life.

Though its primary theme is death and mourning, I found it ultimately abandoned those restrictions, and subsequently transfigured into a celebration of the resilience of the human spirit.

The film is sad. Tragic. No getting around that. However, I did not find it to be a tear-jerker. I was probably too overcome by George’s melancholy to find it necessary to produce tears of my own.

Colin Firth deserves the Academy Award for his performance. In fact, I would go so far as to say that he should be awarded the Academy Award solely for his performance in the telephone notification scene alone. An amazing performance. Bravo, Mr Firth.

I loved the music (thought it was Glass, later found out it wasn’t), the mood/colour  changes, sets, costumes, 60s hair and panda eye-makeup, and the total evocation of the 60s. I was there! I remember! All that ghastly, ever-present cigarette smoke! Yetch!

I loved George’s house and my heart went out to him and his anal-retentive obsessive-compulsive psychosis. The last time I saw drawers as neat as that was when I looked inside one of my own.

Previously, I said that A Single Man  “came close” to being a perfect movie. The one thing that detracted from what should have been perfection for me (and I fear I’m going to come under attack from some pretty heavy artillery for what I’m about to say) was Nicholas Hoult’s Kenny. He was just too pretty for words. Those big pink ever-moist lips. The soft doeful eyes. The fluffy blow-dried hair. The girly sweater. The little boy’s bottom. I was just completely turned off by this older professor / pretty young student scenario. Too many clichés. Too much ammunition for the fag-haters who shriek their bile and their malevolent bilge about dirty old queers wanting to have their way with pretty young men.

And I wasn’t convinced by Kenny’s character. He looked sly to me. I thought all along that he was playing a game with George, involving a bet with his girlfriend (I forget her name – the smoking blond in the lecture theatre), that he would be able to bed George. It was not to eventuate, but I’m not convinced that this wasn’t his initial aim. It was only after he found George’s suicide preparations that his original intentions were diverted.

I  have no argument with the presence of a game-playing Kenny character, per se; i.e., a sexually ambivalent/experimental/curious younger man. I would have just personally preferred that he was not soooooo pretty.

A Single Man  is wonderful on so many levels. For example, I loved the appearance of the owl towards the end of the film. The ancient Romans believed owls were the harbingers of death. If George was an Oxford or Cambridge Classics scholar, as I suspect he may have been, he would have known what that owl in his garden signified. I thought the owl was a lovely finishing touch to a beautiful film.

I’ll be seeing it again and I’ll be reading the book too.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2010, 08:36:18 pm by Kerry »
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Offline southendmd

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Re: "A Single Man"
« Reply #112 on: March 02, 2010, 02:06:20 pm »
Thanks, Kerry, for your perceptive review. 

I agree with you about Mr. Firth's extraordinary performance, and about the lovely music (I also thought Philip Glass at first), and the great 60s ambiance. 

As for the Kenny character, I'd be interested what you think after you've read the novel.  I understand the discomfort with the prof/student cliché.  But, there are certain parallels to the author's own life.

As for the "pretty" factor, I guess I'm not surprised that Tom Ford would put models and pretty boys in his film.  Ford described in an interview the importance of that sweater, as he saw Kenny as a kind of "angel". 

In fact, everyone was gorgeous in this film.  I'm reminded of a couple of ranch hands who were a whole lot prettier than their literary description!

Repeated viewings will certainly reward one. 

Offline Rob in Puyallup

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Re: "A Single Man"
« Reply #113 on: March 02, 2010, 11:47:16 pm »
Not a big Oprah fan here, but this late afternoon I was flipping channels and saw Colin Firth being interviewed by Oprah, and a few minutes later Tom Ford dropped in. Was a great set of interviews, so nice to hear their perspectives on the film.

The show repeats here in just over an hour, I've scheduled it to be saved on my DVR.

It's Oprah's pre-Oscar Special.
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Offline louisev

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Re: "A Single Man"
« Reply #114 on: March 03, 2010, 09:21:26 am »
all right all right now you all have me interested in seeing this movie!  And I see so few of them!

And Rob, I remember you from way back over on DC - welcome !!!
“Mr. Coyote always gets me good, boy,”  Ellery said, winking.  “Almost forgot what life was like before I got me my own personal coyote.”


Offline Rob in Puyallup

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Re: "A Single Man"
« Reply #115 on: March 03, 2010, 12:05:03 pm »
Thanks Louise!

Been at DC since it started back in very early January 2006.

:)
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Offline Kerry

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Re: "A Single Man"
« Reply #116 on: March 04, 2010, 01:23:23 am »
I loved the scene in which George and Jim are seen reading together. George is reading some dry-as-dust academic tome (forget what it was) and he looks across at Jim and asks, mockingly but with affection (something like - not verbatim) "What crap are you reading?" Jim holds up the book he's reading to reveal the cover of Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's." It made me laugh. I accepted it as a direct dig at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for their (wrong) choice of Best Actor in 2006.
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Offline louisev

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Re: "A Single Man"
« Reply #117 on: March 04, 2010, 02:11:16 am »
I loved the scene in which George and Jim are seen reading together. George is reading some dry-as-dust academic tome (forget what it was) and he looks across at Jim and asks, mockingly but with affection (something like - not verbatim) "What crap are you reading?" Jim holds up the book he's reading to reveal the cover of Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's." It made me laugh. I accepted it as a direct dig at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for their (wrong) choice of Best Actor in 2006.

now that is a curiously ambiguous and subtle scene, but I think you interpreted it correctly!
“Mr. Coyote always gets me good, boy,”  Ellery said, winking.  “Almost forgot what life was like before I got me my own personal coyote.”


Offline Rob in Puyallup

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Re: "A Single Man"
« Reply #118 on: March 04, 2010, 12:24:13 pm »
The bit in the bank, where George is looking for his checkbook and the girl (was it Jennifer?) who comes to chat with him is priceless!  Lotsa laughs there!
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Offline southendmd

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Re: "A Single Man"
« Reply #119 on: March 04, 2010, 01:27:01 pm »
The bit in the bank, where George is looking for his checkbook and the girl (was it Jennifer?) who comes to chat with him is priceless!  Lotsa laughs there!

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