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Sunday, February 7, 2010

a single man

Well, he says you're light in your loafers. But you're not even wearing any loafers
i've just come from seeing tom ford's "a single man" and WOW is the first thing i can come up with to say. it is so rich and so layered. it was just as lush as a great stilton and some ripe pear after dinner.

i fell in love with the post mccarthy, mid-century perspective that the film used as its launching pad. the cars, the clothes, the stifled sensibility, and of course the lead character's glass house by the beach. the film, (and it really is a film) has some of the most exquisitely shot scenes of any i have seen recently. there is a vintage feel that is reminiscent of bruce weber technique and created a sense of desire and curiosity that found me wanting to know more about the characters.

the story opens with the accidental death of a man whose body is visited at the scene of the car crash by the thoughts of his male lover of 16 years. the still living man's envisions himself kissing the body in an attempt to find acceptance or wake his now sleeping beauty partner from his slumber.

this sets the stage for the next hour and a half for the main character to walk through his early 1960's life as if in a dream or like a somnambulist. it becomes apparent after spending a short day with him that he is not just taking up space, but he has a plan and is methodically taking steps to fulfill his next dream.

some of the vintage beliefs that surround a taboo homosexual lifestyle are whispered thoughout the film. the funeral for the lover that is for family only. the neighbor child dropping the term "light in the loafers" at the bank, and our hero's best friend talking about a "real" relationship all add a certain depth to the storyline. one might even think that writer/director tom ford may have put this christopher isherwood adaptation forward to
speak directly to the gay marriage public drama. it can only be viewed as poison that a person dares not publicly grieve their loved one of 16 years. not even with their neighbors and co-workers.

none-the-less, the performances are as reserved as the morals of the time. this was pre-stonewall and pre-flower power as well. the era of excess had not quite begun, and this is completely reflected in the acting. colin firth masters his character that is metaphorically holding it all in to prevent from falling apart. and julianne moore is stellar as a jacqueline suzanne type that is his oldest and dearest friend. but the impeccable mid-century set design and car collections carry their own weight in this imaginative and remarkable first film.

today's sound choice is from the film. here is booker t and the mg's with "green onions". there's a great scene in the film where the lead is dancing with his best friend and this song comes on. it definitely creates a flavor.

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1 comment:

Java said...

I really want to see this film. It will not come to our town, so I'll have to wait for the DVD release.

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