A SINGLE MAN (Ford, 2009) - Perhaps not the best movie to watch when your significant other is due to get on a plane back home, but one I really enjoyed nonetheless. Firth is simply perfect in his minimalism, and while I could have done without the color filtering, it was at least motivated (in my naive interpretation, it was basically de-saturated = sad, saturated = noticing the beauty and small pleasures in life), and Ford does know how to make a shot noticeable, for instance by using Janet Leigh’s eye, above.
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but who’d have thought the awkward boy from ABOUT A BOY would turn out so beautiful? The adjective is carefully chosen - he’s not hot or handsome or cute, beautiful’s the word. It feels weird talking about it, since I found out - looking up his height on imdb - that he’s my baby brother’s age almost to the day, but the way Ford films and frames him, he’s hard not to objectify. It’s actually kind of interesting, seeing the male gaze firmly in place but trained very clearly on men. I know it’s not meant for me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it.
As for the ending, I was spoiled on it, but it didn’t much matter. I probably could have guessed it, otherwise - it’s very tidy, like the protagonist, and literarily (?) almost inevitable. A SINGLE MAN might not be very original, but as a meditation on death and grief, I’ve seen worse.