Friday, 12 March 2010

Thoughts on A Single Man

Big flashing pink black warning: Major spoilers ahead.
If you have seen the movie or don't plan to but are interested anyway, read on... otherwise don't read further because it will spoil the film for you...

Yeah. There's nothing nicer on a Friday lunchtime than going to a cinema and being all alone in the audience, ironically, to watch A Single Man.

The only problem is that I really didn't enjoy it. Or rather, I did right up until the last 3 minutes.

So, extraordinarily stubborn man's lover dies and he believes that life isn't worth living so he's going to put a gun in his mouth and pull the trigger.

But at the last moment man meets a young hottie so decides not to commit suicide but then falls off the bed and dies of a heart attack. Are you kidding me?!

OK, the film is ba-yootiful. Stunning. The art direction is beautiful. It is beautifully shot. Beautiful clothes. Beautiful sets. Polished cars. Clean surfaces etc.
It is luxurious, rich and sumptuous, like a two-hour Gucci advert (Tom Ford, ahem...)

And Julianne Moore is stunning, the boys are stunning, Colin Firth and his hair are great. The lighting, the shots - everything is absolutely handsome but you pile all of that onto a story that, for me, has such a flimsy ending and the whole thing collapses under its own weight.

Which is exactly what happens.

Colin Firth's character George is a complete drama queen. He is stubborn and annoying. Yeah, we all have issues in our lives and we get over them. I haven't read the book (by Christopher Isherwood) but I did think to myself that he was too arrogant to commit suicide. He wallowed in his own self pity. Colin Firth plays all of that, exceptionally.

I loved the use of "Ebben... Ne Andro Lontana" when George is trying to kill himself. Complete melodrama.
The aria, from La Wally, is basically sung by a despairing women who thinks she's lost everything.

I loved Julianne Moore's character. Did I say that?! She's Patsy Stone with better hair.

I loved the scene when George is solicited by the Spaniard outside the bottle store though I couldn't work out if the screaming Psycho poster was on purpose.

Yeah. For a directorial debut (at the risk of getting really poncey...) it was very good. But the massive anti-climax at the end ruined the whole thing.
It's like those annoying films that continues for two hours, only for the main character to wake up at the end and realise it was all a dream.

Or when a friend starts to tell you a really good story and ends it with "I'm only joking..."


fleetmonkey said...

I've not seen the film myself but from your description the last few minutes sound like Irony with the capital I - the kind of over the top irony that Americans need to understand the concept.

Jay said...

Hey did you see 'white boy black nanny' on channel 4? It was so sad. I would like to hear your views. Watch it on 4oD.


Robert Cox said...

Fleets: Yeah - the ending wasn't the greatest moment.
And I wouldn't recommend it. Unless you're into art direction or something - which then it's interesting to see beautiful design but otherwise, nah...

Jay: Thanks - I will try and find it to watch it...

Gabriel said...

but i loved the ending. its about coming to the moment of realisation that there is love waiting right out there and dying not being able to live it out. epic tragedy.

Jake said...

I haven't seen the film yet but will do on DVD.

What did you think of Lady Gaga's concert Bobby? (Saw the ticket in your photoblog). I went on the Saturday and thought it was a fantastic show.

How's the diet/training stuff going at the moment? You don't post much about that lately *sad face*