Author Topic: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)  (Read 71839 times)

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: "A Single Man" : Spoilers and Similarities to BBM
« Reply #40 on: January 06, 2010, 05:16:39 pm »
Am I batty or were there quite a lot of similarities to our favorite film in this one? Kenny and George baptized their friendship by jumping in the water together naked, Kenny tenderly dressed George's head wound (even on the same side!), George and Charley had a spat after dinner(altho at New Years, not Thanksgiving), Jim and George met outside a door, George mourned alone (in a glass house, not a trailer) after Jim died, Jim died looking up, etc etc. There was even a dog or two! Okay, I'm batty.
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: "A Single Man"
« Reply #41 on: January 06, 2010, 08:50:16 pm »
And another thing...did Nic Hoult remind anyone of the young Richard Thomas, alias "John-Boy"???
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Offline Ellemeno

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Re: "A Single Man"
« Reply #42 on: January 06, 2010, 10:55:34 pm »
I can't wait to see this.

Offline belbbmfan

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Re: "A Single Man"
« Reply #43 on: January 07, 2010, 03:04:44 am »
I can't wait to see this.

Me neither! Although I'll have to wait till march *grumbles*. This thread makes the waiting a bit more bearable.  :)


Am I batty or were there quite a lot of similarities to our favorite film in this one? Kenny and George baptized their friendship by jumping in the water together naked, Kenny tenderly dressed George's head wound (even on the same side!), George and Charley had a spat after dinner(altho at New Years, not Thanksgiving), Jim and George met outside a door, George mourned alone (in a glass house, not a trailer) after Jim died, Jim died looking up, etc etc. There was even a dog or two! Okay, I'm batty.

Doesn't sound batty to me. Even a dog or two hunh? No sheep?  ;D
'We're supposed to guard the sheep, not eat 'em'

Offline Clyde-B

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Re: "A Single Man"
« Reply #44 on: January 07, 2010, 10:45:39 am »
We saw A Single Man yesterday.  Several things struck me about it. 

I liked Ford's use of color.  You can tell how George feels in a scene depending on how saturated the colors are.  When George's spirits are up, the colors become more vivid, when he's down, they become more muted and washed out.  There are several scenes where you can actually see the colors change as George's mood changes.

Charley was more down to earth and frumpy in the book.  I read an interview where Ford said Don Bachardy had told him that Charley's character was actually based on a friend of Christopher Isherwood's who was in reality very glamorous and Isherwood had changed her to fictionalize her for the book.  Ford simply changed her back. 

The thing that struck me most, is the poignant irony of the title.  George is socially and legally defined as a single man, and that's how most of the story's characters, even Charley, relate to him.  But he isn't.  Through most of the picture, George is either a husband or a widower.  The only time he is just "a single man" is for that brief instant in the 1940's flashback where he meets Jim and before Jim says, "I think I'm taken."

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: "A Single Man"
« Reply #45 on: January 07, 2010, 11:26:57 am »
Yes, I agree with that. Also, the irony when Jim's relative says over the phone that the service is "just for family." George IS family much more than the relatives are! Where's his service? Where's his goodbye/tribute to Jim? It ended up taking place in a dream.
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Offline Clyde-B

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Re: "A Single Man"
« Reply #46 on: January 07, 2010, 12:06:23 pm »
Yes, I agree with that. Also, the irony when Jim's relative says over the phone that the service is "just for family." George IS family much more than the relatives are! Where's his service? Where's his goodbye/tribute to Jim? It ended up taking place in a dream.

Yes, Lee, "just for family" has been a knife through a lot of people's hearts.

In the book, George keeps Jim's death a secret from everybody but Charley, because he doesn't believe he and Jim were taken seriously as a couple, and he doesn't believe the grief would be genuine.  Remember the "light in the loafers" comment quoted by daughter, that I'm sure the neighbors never intended George to hear?

from the book:
"Let us even go so far as to say that this kind of relationship can sometimes be almost beautiful - particularly if one of the parties is already dead, or, better yet both."

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: "A Single Man"
« Reply #47 on: January 07, 2010, 01:18:26 pm »
Friend it never fails to amaze me how cruel people can get after the death of someone, excluding friends, partners, divorced family members, etc. That is a time to come together, not fight or pronouce dominance! The heart does not discriminate. I start to ruminate on these things around the time of Heath's death, when...well, I won't go any further.

Another similarity that I noticed was the presence of a motherly woman named Alma...no wait, her name was actually Alva. And there was a recurring theme involving Alva and bread. She liked to keep the bread fresh by putting it in the freezer so when George wanted to speak to her from the Beyond, he put the message in the bread wrapper, and put it in the freezer. That was so touching, but if I didn't know about Alma and the Wonder Bread, I doubt if I would have noticed!
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: "A Single Man"
« Reply #48 on: January 07, 2010, 03:56:37 pm »
Me neither! Although I'll have to wait till march *grumbles*. This thread makes the waiting a bit more bearable.  :)


Doesn't sound batty to me. Even a dog or two hunh? No sheep?  ;D
Thanks for reading, Fabienne! I'll try to mark anything that might spoil it for you in the subject line.

Instead of sheep in this movie, there were students. George is a university professor. Sometimes the sheep, er, students drive him crazy as when he says to a fellow faculty member: "Most of these students aspire to nothing more than a corporate job and a desire to raise coke-drinking, TV-watching children who as soon as they can speak start chanting TV jingles and smashing things with hammers....I sometimes fi nd them staring at me in a kind of bovine stupor as if I were lecturing in a foreign language. Remind me why we shouldnʼt all just be annihilated?"

SPOILERS BELOW

But his eyes and actions betray his words. He is entranced by the vigor, youth, and innocence of the students. While he seeks to step away from life, he is tempted back into life by the students and by Kenny in particular. In fact, people are always telling him, "You need a friend" and offering to be that friend, but there can be no substitute for Jim, so he rejects them. Until the very end of the movie. That is another similarity to Brokeback Mountain. Just as George is ready to let the past go and embrace life, it is taken from him.

All this is my own personal interpretation, of course. The story is vague at many points and everyone can interpret it their own way. I'd like to hear others' thoughts.
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: "A Single Man"
« Reply #49 on: January 07, 2010, 08:00:15 pm »
One thing that struck me about this movie was how positively the women were portrayed. From Alva, Charley, and Mrs. Strunk, to the eight-year-old daughter and the school secretary, they were all portrayed in a loving light. And George seems to be drawn to them. He pauses to compliment the secretary on her hair do and then whispers under his breath "Arpege" obviously familiar with women's fragrances (I used to wear Arpege once when I used fragrances). We see Charley at her worst at the beginning of the movie, but then she is beautiful later on when she meets George for dinner. It must have been Tom Ford's influence on how the women were portrayed. He obviously loves and cares about women with his fashion background. I am not used to seeing women shown so beautifully in films. It's becoming rarer.
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