8:00 PM, 28th May, 2010
Based on the Christopher Isherwood novel of the same name, this movie is a day in the life of a man at a crossroads in his life. Set in Southern California in 1962 at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, George Falconer seemingly has the perfect life (for a single man in the 1950s): a career as a professor of literature; a house which is an architectural masterpiece; a classic Mercedes Benz; and a fabulous wardrobe. Played by Colin Firth, this character is also English, suave and elegant with perfect manners.
However, George is struggling with tragedy: the love of his life, Jim (Goode), is dead and George is trying to find meaning in his life. He is comforted and supported by his closest friend Charley (Moore) who has her own issues. He has opportunities to get a replacement such as Kenny (Hoult), one of his students, but George is inconsolable – his life has been reduced to going through the motions.
The film is visually exquisite, lush – perhaps too lush even – a visual feast, all one would expect from a first-time director in fashion designer Tom Ford, but the emotions are very real. It is about the big questions of love, loss, isolation, and whether life is worth living, and the cruelties that are inflicted on the disdained and despised minorities.
Overall the movie is somewhere between Brokeback Mountain and Brideshead Revisited. If you liked those you will probably like this movie too.
9:54 PM, 28th May, 2010
The Girlfriend Experience stars ‘intellectual porn star’ (not my words, but I like the description) Sasha Grey as an escort who strives to give the whole ‘Girlfriend Experience’ to her clients, as opposed to just being a date for a night.
The scenes in this film are low key and in non-chronological order (we go back to a few incidents multiple times), the storyline is lacking in major events and the acting from Grey is good, but subtle. In other words, those expecting a titillating skin-flick may need to go to the internet for that Sasha Grey experience – this is much more art house (it only really has one Grey nude scene, and even that is dimly lit).
But I found it a great reflection on things like commitment, loneliness and selling oneself: Grey’s occupation is often juxtaposed with that of her personal trainer boyfriend, posing the question of where we draw the line when paying other people to play significant roles in our lives. And you think you get Grey’s character – but then a scene near the end, where her argument with her boyfriend shows the selfish side of her (you know, the ‘I don’t want to tell you what’s really happening here, so I’ll deflect by saying something like “I really need to do this for myself” with no explanation’ kind of selfishness), opens things up even more.
I recommend coming along to this and looking deeper into what is happening. I’m confident you’ll benefit from it.