One other point about A Single Man. The movie is set during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the movie does a tremendous job, for the most part, in setting the mood and appearance of the early ’60s in terms of cars, clothing, music, locations, rotary telephones, stereo cabinets, and characters who seem to smoke all the time and drink like crazy.
The movie also demonstrated, however, that if you are going to evoke a period you can’t just focus on physical surroundings and character activity; you also have to pay attention to language. In one scene the college professor talks earnestly to a student, and the student says that a particular concept “freaks me out.” It may be that “freaks me out” was a common expression on California college campuses in 1962, but the phrase seemed very jarring to me. That kind of apparent clinker can destroy all of the carefully constructed atmospherics.