To lose a partner is to lose two lives. The key to recovering from such a grievous blow is knowing that we have more than one life.
Every day is a fresh opportunity to live another, altered life. What happens to George (Colin Firth), a university professor in Sixties Los Angeles, is not uncommon: he won't let go of the grief because that feels like letting go of the love. And so a second life is lost. You desperately hope that George can let go of the grief and do what every loving deceased would wish: make the most of that other life. His struggle to do so is the brooding narrative of Christopher Isherwood's tale of a man who loses his man and succumbs to the emptiness of paradise lost. Firth is as fine an actor as Britain has produced in a generation. Director Tom Ford's A Single Man is a slow-moving vehicle for Firth's abilities. I felt compelled to watch that vehicle go by a second time; not least to view the delicious Charley (Julianne Moore) trying to seduce George away from his past – and his homosexuality– and failing decisively.
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