Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

A Single Man


Based on a novel by Christopher Isherwood, who wrote the stories that later became the musical Cabaret. The novel was one of the first mainstream books that dealt openly with homosexuality, and played a part in the rise of the Gay Liberation movement. It’s a day in the life of a gay college professor who has lost his younger lover and sees no reason to go on. He is doing everything one should do before suicide: notes to friends, keys, deeds, even the suit he wants to be buried in. He keeps flashing back to his earlier days. It’s set in 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, something he barely notices. Who cares if the world is going to blow up, when you don’t expect to see tomorrow? It’s an actor’s piece, and Colin Firth got an Oscar nomination. Julianne Moore is also wonderful as his best friend, who he had an affair with as a younger man. It got off to a pretty slow start, but drew me in, especially in the scenes when he’s putting the gun into his mouth … and then finding one thing after another that isn’t quite right. It’s darkly funny, and I grew to like him then.