Monday, April 12, 2010

A Single Man

The US between the end of the Second World War and 1968 brings to mind terrible and terrifying associations (Trumanesque belligerence, McCarthyism, feminist rollback), but watching A Single Man, I was reminded of how much I LOVE the aesthetic of the period. The impossibly beautiful house in which George Falconer (Colin Firth) lives with his impossibly beautiful boyfriend (Matthew Goode), the cars, the buildings, and just THINGS (pencil sharpeners, bread boxes, spectacles, doorknobs, telephones, cash registers). Firth was a revelation as the grief-stricken Falconer, hollowed out by the death of his partner - perhaps because I have only ever seen him in romantic comedies (Pride and Prejudice, Love Actually, Bridget Jones's Diary and Mamma Mia!). Oddly, I have a similarly one-dimensional view of Julianne Moore, who plays Falconer's friend Charley, having only ever seen her play women frustrated by the social and sexual mores of the 1950s and 60s (Far from Heaven, The Hours and now this). Other thoughts? None, because I was so busy focusing on the furniture. I have trouble with films that ooze so much aesthetic gorgeousness that they anaesthetize the pain of their narratives (remember Frida?).

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