A Single Man
A Story About A Man Struggling With His Sexuality
"A Single Man" is perhaps one of the most under rated films of the year. The movie is about a college professor, George (Colin Firth), whom recently found out that his lover, Jim (Mathew Goode), died in a car accident, and shows how he copes with the loss. Take in mind, that the film takes place in the 1960's, so homosexuality was very taboo back then. Therefore, George is unable to mourn his loss publicly, but one can easily tell how much it eats him up inside thinking about it. Using various flashbacks to explain a bit about their history together, as the film takes place immediately after Jim dies.
Sadly, the score of the film tend to over dramatize the movie, a bit more than it probably should. Which is weird for me, since I never allow a musical score to affect my opinion on any film unless it's in a positive way.
Plus, the story doesn't go into as much detail about George's life as one would hope. Unlike other films like "Brokeback Mountain", where it goes into elaborate detail of two closet homosexuals hiding their desires, in a society that would condemn them for it. "A Single Man" tends to be a bit more vague about it. In one flash back scene, where George admits that one of the things he loves about his partner is that he's not afraid to express who he truly is. However, if that's truly the case, then why is he married along with two children while George left his wife because he couldn't handle living a lie. Seriously, wouldn't logic dictate that if Jim was so confident in his sexuality, he wouldn't hide it by being married to a girl. Sadly, this never gets fully explained in the film, as it keeps the viewer wanting to know more.
However, Colin Firth and Julianne Moore (Charley) pretty much carry the movie if anything else. Collin Firth plays a man that's very reserved about his emotions. As he's afraid to show society who he really is, out of fear that he would be condemned for it. Although Colin gets very little lines, in the movie, to vent out his character's frustration of having to hide his sexuality, he still manages to convey George's plight in such a way, that the audience can't help but feel sympathetic to his character. Using a silent dignity about his character, as the viewer can see the pent up frustration in his body language and tone of voice, that allows for the audience to feel the protagonist's pain.
Even in the argument Charley and George get into, as Charley grows frustrated over why their marriage never worked out. How Charley feels that her one relationship, after the one with George failed, she can't help but wonder why. Claiming his relationship with Jim was nothing more than something to cover up for something missing, in George's life. Needless to say, George doesn't quite take that remark too well. As it displays the frustration in not only Charley's life as she has to cope with the fact that the only man that she's ever loved can never be with her, but it shows how George and Charley's relationship has become strained over the years as they've both had to hide their true feelings in public. George having to hide his homosexuality and his relationship with Jim. While Charley has to hide the fact that the only man she ever felt understood her, can never be with her nor will he ever love her the way she wants.
Overall, if I didn't already see "Brokeback Mountain", then I probably would've liked this film a lot more. However, after seeing how that film displayed a man struggling to hide his own sexuality, as he mourns the loss of a lover, so much better in that movie, it kind of makes this film seem stale by comparison. However, with brilliant performances by Colin Firth and Julianne Moore, it makes the movie worth watching. "A Single Man" is definitely one of the most under rated films of the year.