A Single Man 2009

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(144) IMDb 7.6/10
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Set in Los Angeles in 1962, A Single Man is the story of George Falconer, a British college professor (Colin Firth) who is struggling to find meaning in his life after the death of his long-time partner, Jim (Matthew Goode). We follow George through a single day, where a series of encounters, ultimately leads him to decide if there is a meaning to life after Jim. George is consoled by his closest friend, Charley (Julianne Moore), a 48-year-old beauty, and is stalked by one of his students, Kenny (Nicholas Hoult).

Starring:
Colin Firth, Julianne Moore
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

A Single Man

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 39 minutes
Starring Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode, Ginnifer Goodwin, Nicholas Hoult, Paulette Lamori
Director Tom Ford
Genres Drama
Studio ICON HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 7 June 2010
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 39 minutes
Starring Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode, Ginnifer Goodwin, Nicholas Hoult, Paulette Lamori
Director Tom Ford
Genres Drama
Studio ICON HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 7 June 2010
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

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76 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Mr. H Chinaski on 9 July 2010
'A Single Man' is a film based upon the 1964 Christopher Isherwood novella of the same name. Set during the height of the Cuban missle crisis, it depicts a day in the life of gay college professor George Falconer (Colin Firth). Falconer is still coming to terms with the untimely death of lover Jim (Matthew Goode). His soul & mind are tormented with desires of his own death and an undying fear of the outside world. Falconer cuts a desolute figure and he fails to see any point to his life beyond mere exsistence. He seems to shut everyone out through fear of commitment & friendship, shunning his neighbouring family at every oppurtunity (although in the most polite fashion possible), distancing himself from his students with talk of fear & self-hatred and forcing arguaments with long time companion Charley (the ever-excellent Julianne Moore). Into this life of solitude enters enthusiastic student Kenny Potter (Nicholas Hoult) who little-by-little begins to break away at the mental wall Falconer has set around himself and give him some meaning to his life. Thus plays out one of the most beautiful and stately films to have come out of Hollywood in decades.

Director Tom Ford deserves much praise for his adaptation. As a first time director (his day job is in fashion) who had to finance the film himself, he shows a mixture of patience and flair that will take him far in the world of film. The way the film slowly unravels its intentions without giving anything away too early (at one point I thougth Charley would turn out to be some kind of high-class working girl!!!) is beautifully rendered.
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53 of 59 people found the following review helpful By M. H. Costeris on 9 Feb 2010
A movie based on the novel by Christopher Isherwood. Colin Firth plays a man who has lost his lover and finds himself unable to go on. He plans to end his life and we follow him through what should be his last day, during which he rediscovers some of the things that could make life worth living again, but it might still be to late for him.

Much has been made of the fact that the movie looks beautiful and it does, but more than anything else it's the acting that really lifts the movie towards perfection. Colin Firth shows a side I had not appreciated in him before, projecting tremendously understated but heartbreaking emotion both in the way he delivers his lines and his non-verbal acting. Perhaps with the gravity of the subject there was a risk that this would lurch towards melodrama but that absolutely never happens. In fact quite often the movie is funny as well as profoundly moving.

Visually the movie is perfect but I was struck by the quality of the sound effects as well. The way certain emotions and characters don't just project their own effect on the visual world of the movie but also carry their own sound theme throughout the movie opened the door to the main characters experience of the world in a way I had not expected.

Beautiful and unforgettable. A perfect debut.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By The story fiend on 20 Feb 2010
Based on the novel by Christopher Isherwood, the film follows one day in the life of George Falconer, a gay British University lecturer living in California. His male partner has died recently in a car accident and George is left understandably devastated. His partner's family deny him his right to attend the funeral and so grieve for his partner properly. Instead we find him in a state of limbo - trying to continue with the demands of daily life while finding life without his partner impossible. The film is set in 1962 and the Cuban missile crisis being at its height provides a suitable backdrop for someone contemplating if there is any point in carrying on.

It sounds like this would make for depressing viewing but somehow it doesn't. George is brilliantly portrayed by Colin Firth in a role completely different to the rom-coms he is so often associated with. For me, he was utterly convincing and really manages to convey this character in an understated yet sympathetic way. There are also flashes of real humour throughout. Julianne Moore plays his gin-soaked, ex-pat best friend, who seems to have been based on Ab Fab's Patsy. I usually love Julianne Moore but I found her self-indulgent character a little difficult to reconcile with the rest of the film. I haven't read the book though so maybe this is exactly how she is portrayed.

The film is directed by Tom Ford, the ex-Creative Director of Gucci, and is, as you would expect, a real visual treat. Painstaking care and attention has been lavished on ensuring the era is perfectly captured and I felt I had been transported back to the sixties. Apparently the design team that was used for the film was the same one that worked on the TV series Mad Men, which is set in the same era.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 100 REVIEWER on 25 April 2011
Format: DVD
I had put off seeing this as there had been so much hype around it, that I felt it would not be able to live up to it all. I was happily proven wrong. This beautiful film is set in 1962, with the backdrop of the Cuban missile crisis and the first real societal awakening to the global threat of nuclear war. Whilst some people feel that man kind could be coming to an end, George (University Professor in California) played brilliantly by Colin Firth, has just lost his one true love in his boyfriend and can not see a reason to live.

His boyfriend Jim dies in a car accident whilst visiting his parents and they do not even tell him about it. He is denied from attending the service and has to cope with living when he feels dead inside, eking out enough emotional strength through memories to sustain day to day existence. He has a best friend, who like him is an ex pat Brit Julianne Moore. She was and clearly is still in love with him and finds her strength in gin and the forlorn hope of a love rekindled with George.

Some would call this lyrically paced, but I found it just moved along at the right speed to savour the whole thing. It is beautifully shot and stage, evoking the era in such a clear way that I got that it was the sixties immediately. There is so much attention to detail that you can tell it was a real labour of love. Tom Ford has made a film he can truly be proud of and we can be grateful to him. I often get miffed when straight actors play gay ones, when there are so many gay actors who never get a look in. However, acting is acting and if a good actor like Firth can do such an excellent job and thereby bring more attention to such a great work and story as this, then I have no problem.

This is a truly beautiful film, with style, humour and a study in human frailty through emotions and love that I found both moving and could really empathise with. Thoroughly recommend it.
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