A Single Man (R) 99 minutes B-
Everyone loves a sharp dressed man... even if he's depressed as hell
Starring Colin Firth, Ginnifer Goodwin, Matthew Goode, Julianne Moore and Nicholas Hoult
A Single Man is a stylish film set in 1962 Los Angeles about a college professor's struggle with grief and loneliness after the death of his long time partner. Much has been made about Colin Firth's performance in this film and well it should. It's worthy of the Oscar hype as he single-handedly carries the film. To use a music analogy, A Single Man is Firth's solo album with guest appearances by the Matthew Goode, Nicholas Hoult and the delectable Julianna Moore.
Adapted from Chris Isherwood's novel of the same name and directed by fashion designer Tom Ford, I loved the cool darkness of Firth's character who is on the brink of suicide and sexual indulgence. But overall the film is too overdressed (metaphorically speaking). Ford's eye for detail is unquestioned and this is an impressive directorial debut. Yet all the elegance and style trumps emotion. I wanted to like this film more than I actually did and unfortunately I never felt any genuine compassion for the main character (mainly I thought he was cool, if not morbidly depressed).
Ironically this film is like a pretty girl who is nice to look at even though it's certain that you will not take her home with you.
Bonus DVD Review
Resurrecting the Champ (PG-13) 111 minutes C+
I'm going to do some shameless name dropping here which will impress no one.
DVD Release Date April 1, 2008
Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Josh Hartnett, Peter Coyote, Teri Hatcher, Alan Alda, Kathryn Morris, David Paymer and Harry J. Lennix.
Resurrecting the Champ is based on a LA Times Magazine article written by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist/author J.R. Moehringer. I had the pleasure of meeting Moeringer at a reading at the Tattered Cover and ran into him a second time in Utah where we both attended the Sundance Film Festival.
Anyway, I put off seeing this film for a long time because Josh Hartnett seems like such a cheese ball. Yet in each film I've seen him in (The Virgin Suicides, Lucky Number Slevin and now this one) he's been surprisingly good. Matter of fact, he's the best thing about this film. Samuel L. Jackson does a good job as well but I have a soft spot for films about writers/journalist.
Also in this film is Kathryn Morris, the blond from the television show Cold Case. I've never watched Cold Case but I must have seen her a million times in commercials for the show. During the entire film I keep thinking "that's the chick from Cold Case... I wonder if that show is any good?"
Resurrecting the Champ is a decent film, but it feels a little like a made for TV movie. It's a good rental and it's especially interesting if you live in Denver because some of the film was shot here and features cameos by John Elway and Jake Plummer.