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Colin Firth peels away the "wet shirt" avoids being typecast.

Besides injecting fashion sense, it appears the man who once saved Gucci can proverbially plunge his poetic syringe into the hearts and minds of moviegoers.

A Single Man, the directorial debut of fashion designer Tom Ford, has seemingly brought actor Colin Firth past the realm of type-casting that has plagued a considerable span of his career. Firth, known for his always playing the always amiable English gentleman, digs deep to hone in on a subtle, yet heart wrenching performance as a homosexual English professor reeling from the loss of his lover from a tragic car accident. Firth, as George delves within a character study saturated by symbolism both abstract and poignant. His delivery is calm, piercing, and conjures the “what if” the what if that may have one asking, ’if I lost the love of my life, a forbidden love by society’s standard, how would I grieve, where could I possibly turn for condolence?”

Seems the only person George can turn to is a neighbor, a lonely woman by the name of Charley (Julianne Moore) with a big heart. The two bond and vent, emitting their frustrations over a relationship both conflicted and loving.

But it is enough for Charley to move on and continue his life?

With this, the assumation of a thematic question, Ford directs a movie heavy with a burdening secret. Firth delivers a melancholy performance but fails to overact and emotionally manipulate his audience. For those craving a linear plot dealing with such deep subject manner, A Single Man may frustrate. But tamed, subdued viewers accustomed to a more cerebral approach in regards to drama, will walk away feeling all questions have been answered and abstractions were well executed and revealing.



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