Considering A Single Man’s talent, it would really be shocking if it fell flat. Well there’s no shock here because this is a truly marvelous film complete with a well written script and skilled performances. Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode, and Nicholas Hoult are all bringing their A game here and their performances give us great looks into the characters they’re portraying. I really love the set up for this film, it makes things very intimate and warm in a way. This film slows down time and shows us all the events of one day… and it works beautifully.
A Single Man centers around Colin Firth’s character who has just recently lost his boyfriend in a deadly car accident. The timeline is only one singular day where Firth has really been struggling and is contemplating suicide and what happens during this day is a journey of sorts for Firth’s character.
What’s so magnificent about the script is how it takes its time and brings in different characters in Firth’s life. The conversations he has with these people helps us learn more about him, it feels like we’re being told all about him and his lovers whole relationship through these events and it works seamlessly.
I was afraid A Single Man’s tone would be overly depressing and somewhat dry, but quite the contrary. I felt an intimate sense of warmth watching this because it’s made so abundantly clear how much Firth and his partner (Matthew Goode) loved one another and it’s also made clear how good of a relationship he has with his friend Charlotte (Julianne Moore). I found the dialogue very rich and interesting, sometimes films of this nature can have stuffy boring dialogue but not here… pretty much everything is said for a purpose.
All the main characters are so damn lovable too… I just couldn’t help but smile because of how good hearted and loving they were. The issues that these people struggle with are shown, but not in a depressing way really. They’re shown in a way that leaves you feeling hopeful, and that’s a lovely way to handle obstacles in life.
The cast and their performances bring this lovely script to life, I was so impressed by everyone here. Colin Firth embodies this middle aged gay college professor fully and portrays him in a very lovable sympathetic light which is necessary in order for any of this to work. Firth is just so gifted and I don’t think he could’ve done a better job honestly.
Matthew Goode melted my heart with his performance, he’s so charming and presents his character as one of the sweetest men you could meet, which makes the entire film all the more intimate and emotional.
And WOW – he and Firth have such electric romantic chemistry – so joyful and giddy. The scenes between them are so pure and heartfelt, both the dialogue and the way in which they are performed work together in near perfect unison. This is the kind of relationship you’d want if you were going to have one.
Julianne Moore, who has always been one of my favorites in Hollywood, gives a knockout performance as a middle aged divorced friend of Firth’s. Moore portrays this woman as a friend anyone would yearn to have – endlessly supportive and a lot of fun – she’s almost bubbly at times. Her English accent here is very good too, it never came off as forced. And lastly about her, I simply MUST praise the costume designers for Moore’s clothing and hair and makeup! Oh my god I was so in love with her whole look in this film! Her outfit is so vintage 60s, her makeup complimented her face so well, and her hair was a gorgeous period style.
The final cast member to talk about is the wonderful Nicholas Hoult who plays one of Firths students that takes an interest in him. Firth and Hoult’s characters have such sweet honest back and forths and it’s just nice to see that these two gay men, of different generations, are giving each other something that was needed. And Hoult does such a great job portraying this sweet young man, very impressive.
A Single Man is an intimate drama that succeeds due to a warm caring script that gives us rich characters and due to the fantastically talented cast who portrays those rich characters.
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