A Single Man

Rated 4.0

George (Colin Firth) is a middle-aged college professor and English expatriate in Southern California in the early 1960s. And he’s a single man in several senses of the word: he’s unmarried, he’s recently lost his long-time lover Jim (Mathew Goode) to an auto crash, and he feels alone and lost in a more metaphysical—and final—way. Firth’s Oscar-nominated performance in the title role is being broadcast as the film’s chief selling point, but A Single Man, adapted from Christopher Isherwood’s groundbreaking gay-themed novella of 1964, distinguishes itself on several counts. There is a good deal of serious appeal in the characters George encounters during what might be the last day of his life—his long-time lady friend Charlotte (a superb Julianne Moore), his deceased lover Jim (still indelibly present in flashbacks and dream sequences), a young hustler (Jon Kortajarena) with whom he has a brief and erratic flirtation, and an ambiguously attentive student named Kenny (Nicholas Hoult). The best scenes and sequences in the film are those that pair Moore with Firth, and Firth with Hoult, with the latter being especially well-conceived. Pageant Theatre. Rated R