So the two movies I saw so far this year were "A Serious Man" about a middle aged college professor whose life is crap and "A Single Man" about, well, a middle aged college professor whose life is crap.
I read Isherwood's novel for the first time last year. I'll mention that I picked up the book at a used book store specializing in English language books in Avignon in the South of France just because that sounds so damn cool.
I was worried that Hollywood would add a happy ending, or explosions and more chicks to make it more of a straight guy flick, but none of that happened.
It's an incredibly sad story, most of the action is internal to the lead character brought to tragic life by Colin Firth who really outdoes himself. I hope he gets that Oscar. Julianne Moore is also amazing, but unlike Firth you sometimes get the impression that she was trying to get nominated every single moment she was on camera. Unlike Firth, she didn't get a nod though.
The movie is directed by fashion designer Tom Ford, and the fact that the movie often looks like a perfume ad sometimes took me out of the story. It's a story about very real emotions, but it hardly ever loses that fairy tale visual quality. In some moments though, it works, and then it works brilliantly. When a dying man is shot with that sense of beauty, it evoked images of Michelangelo's Pieta in me.
I wish I hadn't had to sleep alone after watching "A Single Man." It's certainly a picture that stays with you.