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A Single Man (12) Icon Home Entertainment 5/5 For those who may not know, Tom Ford is a hugely successful fashion designer who is most well-known for heading up Gucci and then establishing his own Tom Ford label. This is his first film as director and although you may initially baulk at the huge potential for albeit stylish vacuousness, especially as he paid for it himself, the truth is that ‘A Single Man’ is simply astonishing! Based on Christopher Isherwood’s 1964 novel of the same name, ‘A Single Man’ takes place over one day in Southern California in which English academic expat George Falconer (Colin Firth) accepts he can no longer continue living without Jim (a superb Matthew Goode), his partner of 16 years, who was recently killed in a car crash. George has spent the months since unsuccessfully trying to live in the moment and has made plans to kill himself. Other than finding out that Tom Ford has made an amazing film, the other revelation is leading man Colin Firth. A hugely successful actor over the years, he is perhaps better known for his roles in Bridget Jones’s Diary, Mamma Mia and of course, Pride & Prejudice. However in recent years, he has had roles in more creatively challenging films such as ‘And When Did You Last See Your Father?’ and ‘Genova’ and his performance as George Falconer in this film is fully deserving of his Oscar nomination and the BAFTA he won. The consistently excellent Julianne Moore plays Charlie, George’s only ex-girlfriend and lonely, lush-like best friend and their chemistry is exquisite. Sherlock Holmes (12) Warner Home Video 4/5 The rise of Robert Downey Jr continues with “Sherlock Holmes”. Released this month on DVD, the film is full of humour, twists, action and provides enough for everyone to enjoy. The distinct direction of Guy Ritchie, stands out with the trademark slow motion scenes and his ability to make the streets of 19th century London come alive for the viewer. Both Downey’s interpretation of Holmes and Jude Law’s take on Watson provide the vibrancy in this film. Throw in a plot which twists and turns in a more plausible fashion than some films of late, and you have a pretty decent film. The notable loss of the deerstalker means that Holmes can be charismatic or a total pig, but also that he can take part in a bare knuckle boxing match and then later take on a 7 foot french giant, without blinking an eye. However, you aren’t left scratching your head thinking

One of the most memorable scenes is when George discovers that Jim has died. He takes a phone call expecting Jim and it turns out to be one of Jim’s cousins. The scene seems to last an eternity and next to nothing is said, yet you are so caught up in George’s reaction to the shocking news. In pre-Stonewall 1962, you were not only in the closet but were not even socially permitted to express emotions as a straight man, never mind a gay man. So when George is told ‘the funeral is for family only’, not only has his partner died, but their easy, loving, happy life together has died with him and you really feel the heartbreaking pain of this man forced to be emotionally invisible by an intolerant society. Colin Firth deserved the BAFTA for this scene alone. Perhaps inevitably given Ford’s fashion background, criticisms of ‘A Single Man’ have generally been focused on the question of style over substance. And yes, you can see that every shot has been stylized and framed within an inch of its life in the architecture, furniture and fashion period detail and the roles of student by Nicholas Hoult (‘Skins’ and ‘About A Boy’) and prostitute (model Jon Kortajarena) are clearly fantasy figures and yet, this film is still a feast of sophisticated elegance in which you cannot help but immerse yourself and from which you never wish to leave. ‘A Single Man’ has both style and substance in abundance and is without question one of the most beautifully moving films of the last ten years. Go and watch it. Now. Jason Newton “can he really be that agile in his deerstalker”. The story line is the standard Sir Arthur Conan Doyle affair that unravels itself at it’s own pace, but leaves enough for the inevitable sequel (in this case), and for the rise Professor Moriarity. Given the ever evolving post-production that is in every blockbuster now, comparing this Sherlock Holmes to his predecessors would be troubling for all involved, but there seems to be a balance of special effects and acting which does not violate the story line . A lot can be said about Ritchie’s most recent films, (obviously we wont be saying anything here), but he has redeemed himself with a film that audiences flocked to watch, will probably flock to buy, and all this without tarring the stories of Sherlock Holmes too much. Constantinos Kypridemos

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The Kaje - Issue 2 (June 2010)  

The Kaje is all about the arts - from the upcoming and underground through to the commercial mainstream. Issue 2 takes a look at: The Bang...

The Kaje - Issue 2 (June 2010)  

The Kaje is all about the arts - from the upcoming and underground through to the commercial mainstream. Issue 2 takes a look at: The Bang...

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