At The Theater #8: A Single Man

A Single Man is a film about a man in mourning. It stars Colin Firth as George, a recently widowed gay college professor living in Los Angeles in the early 1960s. With the sudden death of his lover Jim, all the life seems to be taken out of George, both internally through his grief, and externally in that out of the two of them, Jim seems to have been the one with more fire in his soul. He ignited George, and now that he’s gone, George has gone cold.

A Single Man is a beautifully shot movie. Tom Ford utilizes color throughout the film to a very good effect. It’s easy to tell George’s emotional state regarding the world around him depending on how bright or muted the colors are in the scene. This really pops when George is in a good mood, providing some of the prettiest visuals in the film.

The problem with following a depressed man around for the course of a day is that it makes for at times a verrrrry slowwwwww moving movie. I didn’t fall asleep at any part during the movie, but if we had picked a later showtime, I might have been danger of fighting off some serious drowsiness.

I was a fan of the TV show Pushing Daisies, so it was a pleasant surprise to see a cameo from Lee Pace, who played Ned on the show. Here he is stodgy colleague of George who is obsessed with the cold war and impending nuclear holocaust. His scene is one of the two funniest scenes in the movie, when he explains to George why everyone needs a fallout shelter.


The other big surprise about A Single Man was seeing Nicholas Hoult, the awkward kid from About a Boy, play Kenny in this movie. The surprise came from that he’s no longer awkward, has lost a lot of baby fat, and is, according to a couple of girls who also saw the movie, “very hot.” My date pointed out that this movie would be a lot more awkward if they cast the other guy from The Bridget Jones Diaries, Hugh Grant to play George. Because Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult starred together in About a Boy when Hoult was much younger, the two of them going skinny dipping here would have seemed especially weird.

For my female readership…enjoy.

The clothes in A Single Man are another big highlight of the movie. Everyone is dressed to the nines, even if they’re just in everyday clothes. But I guess if you have Tom Ford directing, that’s to be expected. I wish Tom Ford provided my clothes.

The main reason I went to see A Single Man is that it was nominated for Best Picture as this year’s Oscars, or so I thought. When I saw it, I thought “I don’t know if I would have nominated A Single Man for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards.” It looks like the Academy agreed with me, because it wasn’t A Single Man that was nominated for Best Picture, it was A Serious Man. Whoops.

Speaking of the Oscars, it doesn’t look like I’m going to see all the Best Picture contenders before tonight’s show. With only hours left until the broadcast, and The Hurt Locker, Blind Side, Precious and A Serious Man still to go, I think I may only have time for one. Since the battle for Best Picture seems to be between Avatar and The Hurt Locker, I think I’m going to go with that.