Sunday, January 17, 2010

Julianne Moore in A Single Man


Julianne Moore's Charley from Tom Ford's A Single Man is my choice for StinkyLulu's annual Supporting Actress Blog-a-thon. Now I realize that the goal is to paint a portrait of the supporting actresses of 2009 that is both broad and diverse, but I couldn't help myself and I ended up choosing a rather popular choice. I contemplated many actresses who could have taken this spot, but I found myself always coming back to this performance as my favourite supporting actress of the past year.


One of the reasons I picked Julianne's performance is because her character Charley has no idea what movie she is in. Now, I realize that sounds like a terrible reason to chose a supporting actress but hear me out. Normally, I would think that a performance that plays on another level than any of the other characters would be terrible and totally detrimental to a film. However, this is a special circumstance because not only is Charley in the hands of Julianne Moore, but also because Charley also doesn't fit in with the world around her. She is loud, boisterous, and absolutely charming. As far as Charley is concerned, the world revolves around HER.


A Single Man (if you couldn't already figure it out by the title) is a story centered around Colin Firth's character George, and Charley is George's best friend. Charley does get some minor screen time during the first half of the film; her reaction to George sobbing at her door, or a phone call to George asking him to bring gin to her dinner party, but it is during the second half of the film (more specifically the aforementioned dinner party scene) that Charley really gets her chance to shine.


As the scene unfolds in front of you, it is obvious that these two friends have been comforting each other for a long time. George because of his lover's death, and Charley because of her failed marriage. What separates this party from all of the others these two must have shared over the many years they have known each other, is that Charley reveals how lonely and desperate she truly is, she reveals a hidden part of herself to George. Charley is not one to be dismissed easily, being the center of attention is where she is the most comfortable. However, the years of being ignored by both her ex-husband and her children, have created a deep desire to be loved and noticed. When George does not reciprocate the feelings that Charley lays down, Charley lets loose.


This whole dinner sequence is Moore's to chew, and she does just that. Between the laughs, the smoke, the booze, and the hair, Moore creates a window into the life of Charley in just mere moments. It is amazing that Moore can tap into this woman's loneliness and sadness, but also into her magnetic charisma and natural good humor. It is during these moments that I forgot that the film was about George, because when Moore was onscreen it was ALL about Charley (and to be honest I wouldn't have it any other way).


I don't want to spoil any more of the film than I have to, so that's all I am going to say about this performance. Hopefully reading this entry gives some incentive to those of you reading this post who have yet to watch A Single Man, to get out there and support this film.

-Cigarettes

[This post is part of the Supporting Actress Class of 2009 blog-a-thon happening over at StinkyLulu. You should head on over there if you haven't already and check out more of the entries from all the other bloggers.]

6 comments:

Ryan T. said...

"It is amazing that Moore can tap into this woman's loneliness and sadness, but also into her magnetic charisma and natural good humor."

YES to that. I remembered thinking, wow, just wow.

One of the moments that have stuck with me since I saw the film was the first time we see her laugh boisterously. I was suddenly pulled out of the movie and yet it only added to the experience. It's so paradoxical, but I loved it!

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Lovely write-up I am yet to see this but I'm glad to hear such lovely words on Ms. Moore.

R Logan L said...

Well put. In general this movie is underrated. Even though Firth is rightly receiving the most praise, Charley is the kind of role that Moore can knock out of the park.
I also found that initial burst of her laughter to be what more or less won me over.

Supporting roles often seem to steal the show, which I think generally should not happen. Here, Moore serves up the right level of support. She makes George more interesting, while also being a real person and not just a "character."

Generic Viagra said...

I really admired the work as actress made by this women, and of course that her captivating beauty and charm make to this women a real goddess in the films, I remember the first time that I saw Moore, was in the movie Boogie Nights.
Viagra Viagra Without Prescription.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but this is the first thing that I absolutely hated Moore in. Why? Her accent is absolutely awful, especially next to Firth's. Moore is a great actress - I loved her in The Kids are Alright - but she was so hammy in this movie and her accent was so over-the-top. I'm glad that I've had a chance to see much more of her stuff before this - otherwise after seeing her performance in this movie I would have sworn off of her for good.

jowdjbrown said...

I contemplated many actresses who could have taken this spot, but I found myself always coming back to this performance as my favourite supporting actress of the past year.herbtools