A story that centers on an English professor George (Firth) who, eight months after the sudden death of his partner Jim (Goode), is unable to cope with his typical days in 1960’s Los Angeles. We see him on the day that he plans to commit suicide and everything leading up to that moment.
We can easily see that Jim is a depressed man since the death of Jim. We are shown in flashbacks the life they had together, how they met and how they lived. They were happily together for 16 years and very much in love. George plans to commit suicide as he just cannot take living anymore. But throughout the day the conversations he has with a few different people help me see what he might have been missing.
Charley (Moore) who has been a lifelong friend also appears to be depressed but not in the same way as George. Kenny (Hoult) a student from one of his classes seems to be following him around and appearing throughout the day. A Spanish prostitute/actor Carlos (Kortajarena) thought he was being picked up by George but he couldn’t be more wrong.
This film is truly beautiful from start to finish, the way in which we manage to really see how difficult George is finding his current life. That life without his long term love Jim, how he cannot and will not ever get over it. This creates a rather intense scene between George and Charley who we find out he had slept with on a few occasions when he was younger. She wanted love like George and Jim had and claims that she would have been a real couple with him. Obviously he finds that very hurtful. Watching it we find it hurtful too, we really manage to get under George’s skin and see how he feels.
The difficult situation we see has to be Kenny who a couple of times seems to be offering himself to George. I have to admit that I really did doubt whether or not George would take him up on the offer, obviously he does not as he really couldnt be any less interested. Kenny does attempt to help George by hiding the gun which he was going to use in his suicide attempt, before the tragic ending.
Although maybe the ending is not as tragic as it could have been. We get to see George debating the suicide attempt with himself and wonder if he can really go through with it. He accepts that he did have a very good life with Jim, and achieved some very good things. He had close friendships and really did mean something to quite a lot of people.
I really do think the performance from Colin Firth is outstanding! He really did break away from the previous roles he was known for in this role, showing just how good an actor he really is. The hurt the pain, we could really feel it all through his performance. Nicholas Hoult has been around for quite a while now and really does seem to go from strength to strength as he has gotten older. Julianne Moore always puts in good performances and this was no exception, she worked very well with Firth chemistry wise. Whilst we did not see very much of Matthew Goode I thought it was a very nice performance in the flashback scenes.
Overall I really do like this film, as bittersweet as it is in parts. I think the performances really make it. As I mentioned earlier it is beautiful from scene to scene.