One of the reasons I wanted to see it is that Colin Firth received a Best Oscar nomination for his performance, and I know he's really talented. However, I was taken aback by this movie, since I knew very little about its premise.
Based on a novel written by Christopher Isherwood in 1964, it's about a closeted gay college professor, George, who loses Jim, his partner of 16 years, in a car crash along with their two dogs. It's not clear from the movie if they lived together, but the flashbacks make it look like they did. The time period is the early sixties. George is so devastated that he decides to kill himself, and the movie unfolds around that decision.
The first scene where George learns of the crash and that Jim's family won't let him to come to the funeral is exquisitely done, and in my opinion Colin Firth deserves the Oscar for that one scene alone. I of course went over to Rotten Tomatoes to see what "freshness" rating the movie received (86%), and I was pleased to find that most reviewers also raved about Firth's performance. I found a review that summed it up for me, written by Ian Freer on Empire Online (the link takes you to the full review):
Firth beautifully etches a man slowly detaching from his life. Perhaps the character’s biggest moment — receiving news of Jim’s death — starts with a clipped phone call and ends with a portrait of a man in bits, Firth making the transition without a false note. A model of economy and restraint, Firth starts addicted to his broken heart and ends a man capable of seeing the beauty in the world precisely because he has given up on it. He roots George, and therefore the rest of Ford’s beautiful film, in dignity.I have thought of the movie several times since I watched it, and especially the incredibly well crafted story of what it must have been like to be gay back then. Julianne Moore plays an old female friend, and she is also incredible in her role. The film was nominated for The Golden Lion award at the Venice International Film Festival, and Firth received an award for Best Actor at that festival. Firth also won a Golden Globe award for Best Actor, and Julianne Moore was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. It received other awards, all of which were well deserved, in my opinion.
It seems like it would be a real downer of a movie, but it wasn't. It portrayed so many aspects of life that we all must deal with: loss, grief, acceptance of self, friendships, and the many facets of love.
I haven't seen this one yet. But I've loved Colin ever since he played Mr. Darcy. My heart melts!ReplyDelete
This is a wonderful review of the movie my wife and I just saw as well. The movie is a sensitive portrayal of an earlier time when the heart yearns for something just beyond reach.ReplyDelete
Oh oh oh - how did you know I've been wanting to see this movie? Now I'm going to rent it for sure. I'm a big Colin Firth fan, from way back. Thanks for the review!ReplyDelete
I am a big Colin Firth fan. He is such a good actor. I haven't seen this movie but now I will.ReplyDelete
We also watched it recently On Demand. I knew it was an award nominated role, but I had no idea what to expect. While the acting was great, the movie left me feeling a bit empty. I guess what I missed was being able to see the fullness of his life before the death of his partner, so I could more fully appreciate the depth of his loss.ReplyDelete
Reminds me of how The Philadelphia Story affected me. Stellar performance by Tom Hanks.ReplyDelete
I will need to view this myself now.ReplyDelete
One more for the lineup to rent! Thanks for posting the review.ReplyDelete
PS Your palindrome post went up today and got some interesting comments!ReplyDelete
Hmm sounds like an interesting film, and knowing that Colin Firth is one of the finest actor in the film industry I won't hesitate watching it, besides Colin is my favorite actor.ReplyDelete
David watched this movie last week and enjoyed it. I watched it in bits and pieces as it is not the kind of movie I usually watch.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the review. The story makes sense now.
i have not seen this one...based on youwrite up it sounds pretty good. will check it out...ReplyDelete
Never heard of this movie (yes, I live a sheltered life, I know), but will definitely be on the look out to rent it!ReplyDelete
The stories are a-coming. I got lots of them never posted kind. I will post them on abrahamlincolnsblog.blogspot.com in the future. Like soon. Maybe tomorrow.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the recommendation. I'll put it on my list. I'm thinking of quitting Netflix, too. At least for the summer.ReplyDelete
It sounds thought provoking. I'm not sure when I'll ever get the chance to catch up on all the movies I want to see, but I'll add it to the list.ReplyDelete
Hi, just came across your blog and it looks really interesting. I really like your review. I just watched this film yesterday and wrote my own review on my blog, check it out if you can:ReplyDelete
Looks like an interesting film to watch. I remember the early sixties when it was, I think, illegal to be gay or homosexual as we called it then. I prefer the original meaning of 'gay' and I don't like that it means something else now.ReplyDelete
I haven't noticed the film over here yet. Perhaps it hasn't come out in England. I'll have to check up.
Glad to read the recommendation! This one's been on my "pending" list for a while... so many movies, so little time! But I love Colin Firth's work so I definitely have to make the time for this one! Add in Juliane Moore... :o)ReplyDelete