A Single Man (2009)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
|Year Of Production||2009|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (57:55)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||Tom Ford|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English (Burned In)
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is a fairly common theme in dramatic movies, including a film I reviewed just the other day, Love Happens. Having said that it is a common theme, what is refreshing is to find a film which addresses the subject matter in the beautiful and artistic way that this film, A Single Man, does. This is a beautifully shot, acted and scored film which draws you into what is a fairly simple story and leaves you with a very emotional and worthwhile experience. It was obviously a labour of love for first time director, fashion designer, Tom Ford as he financed the film himself and produced and directed it. What a marvellous job he has done for a first attempt at direction. The film is based on a novel by Christopher Isherwood.
The story revolves around George (Colin Firth), a Professor of English living in Los Angeles in 1962. As the film opens it is approximately eight months since the death of his long term partner Jim (Matthew Goode) in a car accident while Jim was visiting his family. The family did not accept Jim and George’s relationship and therefore did not invite George to the funeral. George is not coping well with the loss of Jim and has withdrawn into himself, struggling just to make it through each day. He cannot see a future for himself and so has decided to end his life by suicide. He is a fastidious person and so sets out to prepare carefully his affairs so that his suicide causes minimal impact on others. He spends his last day in his normal routine but finds that he starts seeing the world in different ways. He interacts with a variety of people during the day including his best friend Charley (Julianne Moore), who is divorced, a young student of his Kenny (Nicholas Hoult), who wants to get to know him better, his neighbour’s wife (Ginnifer Goodwin) and a young Spanish visitor to LA. All of these interactions affect his outlook and his final decision making process.
Colin Firth was deservedly nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of George as he shows all the emotions whilst maintaining the controlled and fastidious shell of the character. Julianne Moore was also nominated for a number of awards for her role. She and the other supporting cast members all do excellent jobs. The music is wonderful, consisting of a Golden Globe nominated score by Abel Korzeniowski and a number of popular songs of the era in which the film is set. As Tom Ford discusses in his excellent commentary, the score has overtones of Bernard Herrmann who scored many of Alfred Hitchcock’s films. Silence is also used well for some parts of the film. Adding to all of this quality is the marvellous imagery including wonderful use of colour, great costumes (as you might expect) and interesting high quality cinematography by Eduard Grau. A minor piece of trivia is that the voice on the other end of the phone call George receives near the beginning of film is provided by Jon Hamm (Don Draper from Mad Men) who recorded it as a favour to Tom Ford. The themes of the importance of connecting to other people and living for today are very resonant and leave the viewer something to think about.
Bravo! A highly recommended film for lovers of fine cinema.
The video quality is excellent.
The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, which is the original aspect ratio, 16x9 enhanced.
The picture was very clear and sharp, about as good as it gets in SD. Shadow detail was very good. The colour was excellent keeping faith with the colour schemes of the film. There were no noticeable artefacts.
There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired which are clear and easy to read. There are also burned in subtitles for some Spanish dialogue in one scene.
The layer change occurs at 57:55 but is not noticeable.
The audio quality is very good.
This DVD contains two audio options, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s, and a Commentary track in English Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded at 192 Kb/s.
The dialogue was easy to understand and clear throughout.
The music consists of the wonderful score by Abel Korzeniowski plus a variety of pop songs. The music is very warm and provides an enveloping sound field.
The surround speakers and subwoofer were used for music mostly with some other minor directional effects.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu is well designed including motion, music and options for setup and scene selection.
Fairly generic making of featuring scenes from the film and interviews with Tom Ford and the main cast members. The discussion includes the source material, casting, characters and the direction. OK but nothing spectacular.
This commentary is available through the setup menu. Tom Ford is a very interesting commentator who discusses the book, the score, shooting problems, the imagery used, locations, colour, anecdotes and other production topics. He does pause from time to time however this is a quality commentary.
The Region 1 release is basically the same. Draw.
The video quality is excellent. The audio quality is very good.
A small selection of extras including a high quality commentary.
|DVD||SONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer|