A Single Man

Rated R 99 min. 2009

On the surface, A Single Man can register as an exquisitely constructed mood piece, too mannered and perfect for its own good. Fashion designer and former Gucci creative director Tom Ford’s debut film centers on a gay man in 1962 Los Angeles who is contending with a profound loss. As he goes about the course of his day, English professor George Falconer (Colin Firth) reflects on his partner Jim (Matthew Goode), who has recently died in a car accident. It is a momentous loss, and it has driven George to an existential dead-end.

But A Single Man, from a 1964 novel by gay author Christopher Isherwood, is a stealth, carefully paced film whose emotional wallop is cumulative. The film goes about its business, the details of George’s life stack up, and then suddenly, almost out of the blue, the weight of the thing crashes down on you. Hard. A Single Man conveys the life-in-a-fishbowl sensation that the cottony tomb of grief can bring. George surveys the world: a dishy receptionist at the college where he works, a little neighbor girl dressed in a crisp summer dress by the roadside, with a special hyper-awareness. It can be a remarkably dispassionate and detached film in which people fail to connect. Until they do. More than anything, the film is about the quicksilver moments of beauty and grace in our lives that allow us to rise above the truth of our own mortality.

Film Credits

Official Site: www.asingleman-movie.com

Director: Tom Ford

Writer: Tom Ford and Christopher Isherwood

Producer: Tom Ford, Andrew Miano, Robert Salerno and Chris Weitz

Cast: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode, Ginnifer Goodwin, Nicholas Hoult, Paulette Lamori, Nicholas Beard, Brad Benedict, Paul Butler and Ridge Canipe

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