Saturday, December 18, 2010

Movie Review of A Single Man (2009)

How would you deal with the death of your spouse?...Pain is inevitable, suffering is not. If any of these tragedies strike you in your present state of mind, you will suffer… Buddhism does advise you to invest some of your time and energy in learning to deal with unpleasantness, because some pain is unavoidable. When you see a truck bearing down on you, by all means jump out of the way. But spend some time in meditation, too. Learning to deal with discomfort is the only way you’ll be ready to handle the truck you didn’t see.
- Henepola Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English

This is the story of an English professor in the 1960s who has lost his life partner and decided, after eight months of mourning, to kill himself. Thankfully, the characters were well acted and interesting because the plot was thin and predictable.

Colin Firth does a tremendous job as the grieving lover, Julianna Moore is excellent as his frustrated female friend, and the supporting cast is great. However, it may be that this territory has been covered so often that it has lost its power but I suspect there was something missing in the writing. The audience was not truly emotionally engaged as they were in “Milk” or “When Did You Last See Your Father?”

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