Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Single Man at the Oscars + UK premiere + book vs. film


We are delighted (and not at all surprised) at the news that can-you-believe-he's-never-before-been-nominated Colin Firth has been nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in the Tom Ford-directed A Single Man.

(Though, in our totally biased opinion, the film deserves to be among the Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress (Julianne Moore) categories as well -- not to mention Best Adapted Screenplay, Art Direction and Best Score for Abel Korzeniowski -- still, we digress.)

The film is currently getting all kinds of buzz around the UK, where it will open in wide release on February 12th. Here's a link to footage from the UK premiere, which includes interviews with Tom Ford, Colin Firth, Matthew Goode and Nicholas Hoult.

A few recent comments on our A Single Man Readers' Forum have addressed discrepancies between the book and the film. To that effect, Claude J. Summers has written a fine piece for glbtq on the film's factual and thematic departures from the novel:

The question in the novel is not whether George will kill himself, but whether he will be able to escape his obsession with the past, and whether his fierce individuality can be incorporated within a larger, spiritual perspective. Isherwood's great theme is the transience of mundane existence when seen from the perspective of eternity while Tom Ford's is the smaller one of apprehending the beauty and joy of mundane life itself.

Ford is clearly aware of a spiritual dimension to George's dilemma, as evidenced by references to the protagonist's spirituality and by the recurrent water motif, which he presents beautifully and meaningfully both in George's stunning dream of Jim and in the exuberant "baptism of the surf" that he experiences with Kenny. Ford also suggests spiritual mystery through images of moonlight on the ocean and by the lingering image of a full moon, reminiscent of shots in David Lean's film of E. M. Forster's A Passage to India.

Read the entire article here.
Your comments are most welcome and encouraged. Please leave your thoughts below or join the conversation on our readers' forum.

Claude J. Summers wrote the foreword for Isherwood on Writing, which is edited by James J. Berg.

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