‘Just get through the goddamn day.’
When you struggle to sustain presence, when you have to search for the sense of being; every single day, when you can’t reach for a part of your life because it has been taken away from you – how do you feel?
The film ‘A Single Man’ is based on Christopher Isherwood’s novel which was written in 1964. The production was shot within 23 days only and premiered 2009 at the Venice Film Festival.
Director Tom Ford takes us onto the last journey of Professor George Falconer (Colin Firth) who lost his partner Jim (Matthew Goode) in a car accident one year previous. Being overwhelmed with the constant sensation of grief he bids farewell to the work at University and his life in LA.
Tom Ford made his name as a designer and surprised audiences with his directing debut. Sharp costumes and colours are a strong aspect of the film. Having gained inspiration through looking at lifestyle magazines of the 1960s, Ford manages to capture the flair of the time in which George lives.
The film involves its viewer through the character of George. We can hear his struggles, we can feel his suffering and we can see his loneliness. At the very beginning of the film, the camera movement introduces us to an empty, cold, modern house which seems to be too big for a single man. We see George getting ready for his day at work and build a connection to the solitude that surrounds him. The camera follows the story, flashbacks can only hint at what life must have been like for George when Jim was still with him. The viewer is unable to separate themselves from the connection with the protagonist – not even when the credits start rolling.
On his last day, George encounters a couple of people who somehow play a part in his suffering. To take an example, there is one of his students, Kenny (Nicholas Holt), who sees some sort of soul mate in his lecturer and won’t step away from him. There is also Charley (Julianne Moore), George’s best friend: A beauty from the 60s, who is struggling herself with questions of the future.
Together with the beautifully shot close-ups and the great attention to detail, the soundtrack of this movie manages to evoke the sad atmosphere that George is surrounded by. The melody of Abel Korzeniowski’s ‘Stillness of the mind’ goes into your veins and ends with the Coda of George’s heart.