A Single man is the story that follows a day in the life of an English professor in the 1960s in the middle of the Cuban missile crisis. A year after the death of his lover the professor is finding it hard to go through life without his lover of over 10 years.
We are slowly drawn into his lonely world as we see him move through the paces of life, delving on his past with his memories of the time spent with Jim. Jim died over a year ago in a freak accident and his family was not going to inform Nick of the death and the service but Jim’s cousin calls up Nick and lets him know that his partner has passed away. Love Loss and closure are often potent mix for a powerful emotionally explosive story. Same is the case here but rather than exploding outwards Fashion designer extraordinaire and a first time director Tom Ford does a brilliant job of adapting Christopher Isherwood’s Novel and the emotional explosions are not outward showing of dramatic histrionics but rather subtle and nuanced inward implosions.
Colin Firth plays Nick the English professor and was nominated for this brilliant role. Matthew goode plays the dead lover Jim who is memorable in the few scenes he shares with Firth. Julianne Moore plays Nick’s old friend Charly whose affection towards nick is questionably more than just platonic, as a old single (divorced) Charly, Moore is brilliant in making the viewer feel her loneliness without having to ever shed a tear. Perhaps the most memorable character for me is Nicholas Hoult’s young Student Kenny. I had a hard time believing that Hoult was the same person as the one who played the Boy in About a boy with Hugh grant. His earnestness is beyond endearing.
I will be the first to admit I have no clue who Abel Korzeniowski is or what his previous credits are but in this movie his musical score is worthy of a Alexandre Desplat comparison. The music rises every time we switch back to Nick and Jim together and falls every time we see him struggling to get through his day. The throwback to the 1960 records to which Charly and Nick dance is pure joy.
For someone directing his first film Tom ford has quite an eye for details. My favorite feature of the movie is the play on the brightness of the colors – the colors are dull and muted and almost grayed out but when Nick feels the warmth or affection towards any person the colors seems to spring to life the lips become brighter the eyes shinier and the close-up shots of all the beautiful people in this movie only emphasize the beauty of the tragedy that is about to unfold.
A beautiful story of the inner turmoil of the man who has lost the love of his life and the bitter sweet ending to this story is a must watch. I cannot wait for what movie Tom Ford decides to make next. And mark my words “Nicholas Hoult Future Super Star”. I am certain to be returning to this movie several times more as this was the best of the five films I saw this weekend and among those five was Meryl Streep in music of the heart – now that’s saying quite something!
This article is a reproduction from my facebook account.