Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Single Man

A Single Man contains one glorious performance, and too many dream-like images of a naked man submersed in water. 

I think my favorite scene occurs when Colin Firth's character comes upon a dog, the same breed as the ones he lost when his lover died suddenly in a car accident, wiping out in an instant not just his love, but his whole family and history for 16 years.

He pets the dog lavishly through the car door window while its owner looks on, at first indulgently, then warily as Firth burrows his nose into the animal's neck and mutters, "They smell of lavender and soap," as if taking a hit of a drug he once depended on.  And much as I resented the slow speed of the film and its pretentious lingering on superficial details, I confess that I have gone back in my mind's eye to the scene in the apartment when the two men sat happily together, reading, listening to music, discussing their dogs and silly neighbors.

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