Dinner on Rundle Street, followed by A Single Man... it was a good evening!
Let me say, right from the outset, that A Single Man is beautiful. Lyrical, quiet, sad, hopeful, still and beautiful.
Stylistically it reminds me quite a bit of Revolutionary Road, the quiet and lyrical and sad and beautiful feeling anyway. But it was also somewhat obvious that it was directed by someone with an incredibly visual eye like Tom Ford, and surprising that his cinematographer hasn't done more work.
There's a beautiful, and initially very subtle blush of colour every time interacts with someone who excites him in some way... I didn't really notice it the first time it happens, but they really ramp it up the second time, and you know from then on every time it happens that someone has caught his eye. And then when that scene is over and the colour fades away again you're a little sad that it didn't last.
As far as the acting goes, while I haven't seen Colin Firth in a great many things, I really do think that he's exceptional in this! He manages to portray this immense amount of pain and sense of resolve without ever labouring it... to everyone else he's just going through his day, but because we know what he's planning, you can see the pain in it all.
And even though Julianne Moore shares space on the poster and has her name above the title, her character isn't around very much, since contrary to what the poster or the trailer might have you believe, it's not any kind of romance involving the two of them. Other than thinking that she had perhaps watched a few two many episodes of Absolutely Fabulous to get her English accent right, she does do quite well with the little she has to do.
But the real standout is Nicholas Hoult (from About A Boy and Skins)... his American accent is exceptional, and from the very first moment you see him you can see all the wheels turning, but you never quite know what he's up to, right up until the end. And even that's left up to a degree of interpretation. And any performance where he strips naked is worth seeing.
There are also some lovely performances from Matthew Goode and Spanish model Jon Kortajarena but it's really Firth, Moore and Hoult who shine.
And of course, any movie that uses Tom Ford's clothes is a very, very, very stylish movie. This was no exception! Beautiful, beautiful vintage 1960's clothes. And even the fluffy pink mohair sweater that Nicholas wears has a tactile charm about it. Granted, I couldn't wait for him to take it off... but it was still begging to be touched.
I'm not even sure my one criticism of the movie is really that much of a criticism... while it's beautiful and sad, because I assumed that the whole story was going to end a certain way I perhaps didn't get completely emotionally invested in Colin's character. And I didn't cry... so while it was sad, it obviously wasn't THAT sad, since I'm a big baby these days. Or maybe it's a little cold in a lot of ways and I was able to hold the movie at arm's length.
But like I said, with this movie, I don't actually know how much of a flaw that is.
It is incredibly beautiful though, on a number of levels.
And as Colin mentioned in his BAFTA acceptance speech, I am also eternally grateful for the fridge repair man who turned up before Colin had a chance to turn the role down!
yani's rating: 4 blue/green eyed blondes out of 5