Saw Single Man finally. And I'll have to say, I thought it was really good. I like movies/books that seem to operate in binaries..."on the one hand this"..."on the other hand that"...
In Single Man, on the one hand you have this very cool, stylized life, with great fashion, accessories, the dreamiest car,
(but this isn't the exact one, I can't find a picture of his anywhere)
etc. that all function as a marker of something internal. I saw an interview with Tom Ford and he called George's clothes his armor. That he puts on his clothes every day in a methodical way in order to protect himself, as a way of putting himself into the role of the person he is comfortable being perceived as. Because, on the other hand, this very put together gentleman is broken, heartbroken, destroyed, lost.
As keen an eye as Tom Ford has, it's also really spot on the time frame the movie is told within. The pace of the first part of the movie is slow as George is experiencing things for the last time because he's decided to shoot himself. So his dressing and interactions are all given longer attention than he usually would in his life. I thought it was funny though that he continued to take his Bayer medicine throughout his "last day"...well maybe I actually find it ironic. Anyway.
The pace picks up about the time he's deciding to shoot himself, when he is trying to find the cleanest most considerate way to do it. After of course he has laid out perfectly his outfit with a note "Tie in a windsor knot." as well as every document or instruction that anyone might possibly need. So he fools with pillow positioning, and the shower, and then a sleeping bag, and the whole time your forced into very tense laughter. Both because you are so hoping he's not going to pull the trigger even though you know that 20 minutes into the movie, that won't happen. Still, I found statements like "Every gun is a loaded gun" and "Oh no, what if he gets in that sleeping bag and accidentally shoots himself?!"going through my head. And because he's being so funny about it, and you know he wouldn't actually.
Then it's on to fun times with Julianne Moore
who has this great house, and great dress, and eye makeup,
(and astonishing amount of freckles) and makes you wish you had a glass of Tanqueray in hand even though you don't like to drink straight gin...or gin at all for that matter. Yet. Pink cigarettes? Of course. Although, the movie has the same effect as Audrey Hepburn movies and Mad Men where all the sudden you find yourself wanting liquor or cigarettes before noticing that you are in gym clothes with a ponytail and therefore would have a much worse time doing those things. Sooo prepare to be strong, or just wear something appropriate.
I'm glad Ford made it into a movie because as far as reading the book is going, the movie's a better interpretation of the humor than my head was doing. And aside from the sometimes difficult parts to watch (just being honest), it ends up being as serious as it is humorous, and as sad as it is happy.