Thursday, July 21, 2011

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 19: Your Favorite Romantic Film

Day 19: (A) Favorite Romantic Film (In the Byronic Sense):  A Single Man
Blame the English degrees, but when I hear 'romantic' I have to veer away from hearts and flowers.  I don't want to talk about my teenage infatuations with Moulin Rouge! or Amelie, but would rather give you a love story that's romantic in a manner closer to what those 18th century writers were thinking when they waxed poetic.  A Single Man is a tale of love lost, and becomes the odd romance of a misanthrope.  Colin Firth evokes a tremendous amount of surprisingly raw emotion as George, a man isolated, trapped in the past, brave in his surrender, and more deserving of an Oscar than another bloody king (though that movie was quite good as well).  He's the classic misunderstood loner, only this time he's a partially closeted gay man coping with issues no one seems equipped to help him grapple with.  The film is one devoted to art direction, perfection, and scenery via cinematography.  It's not romantic in the sense that he's gifted a happy ending or because we feel warm and fuzzy and saptastic, but because its cinematic DNA is truly beautiful and moving dangerously close to the undefinable sublime.  There's an appreciation for nature and a happiness in landscape, too, though mostly the landscapes it celebrates aren't quite what those noble poets were contemplating when the Industrial Revolution came rolling into town.  I mean, Tom Ford does wonders with a 1960's Los Angeles parking lot...

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