The Pain Of A Missing Love. Dec 24, 2010
Although Colin Firth gives a near-perfect performance, the film somehow misses, mainly because it needs tweaking a second or two off here and there to keep the pace in good order. The story is of Professor George Falconer, teacher, grieving for his partner of 16 years, Jim (seen in flashbacks) who died in a motor accident some months previously. Colin Firth gives a truly vulnerable performance, with a sense of instability, as though he is about to do something anti-social. This is accentuated when a young student, Kenny, (played by Nicholas Hoult) asks at the school office for George's home address and seems to be, if not following him, then inevitably where he is. This is not a gay film, even though the main character is gay: it's a film about deep love that is cruelly aborted, leaving a void that most human beings would find difficult to fill. Julianne Moore as Charley (his longtime friend and past lover), who cares deeply for him, has little to do except wear 60s hairpieces and lots of eye make-up, which is a shame as this proficient actress usually shines.
It's a tender film, beautifully acted by Firth (with a couple of minor reservations, such as when he smiles just a trifle too much, when George would have simply moved his lips), but needs editing with more 'dash' - maybe cutting some scenes earlier to get that sense of heart-stopping emotion out-of-control and giving the viewer less time to feel restless. However, worth watching.