A Single Man DVD
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Directed by Tom Ford
Produced in 2009
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - American film
This is an elegant and quietly persuasive debut from fashion designer Tom Ford, says Barney Kelley. It's also the film in which Colin Firth found himself a whole new identity.
It would take a lot not to be upstaged by the clothes in designer Tom Ford’s directorial debut, A Single Man, but thankfully Colin Firth is more than up to the task. This endlessly stylish adaptation of a Christopher Isherwood story may go down as the moment when this often passive-seeming leading man finally threw off the soggy white undershirt of TV’s Pride and Prejudice and assumed not just a new wardrobe but a whole new screen identity, justly earning himself an Oscar nomination in the process.
As George Falconer, a gay college professor in early 60s America, Firth gives an unusually, and necessarily, assertive performance. Falconer is both externally and internally busy over the story’s 24-hour span, struggling to maintain his veneer of sophistry while dealing with the fallout from his younger lover’s sudden demise in a car accident. He holds court in lecture theatres, then collapses in tears; he stumbles through several possibly redemptive flirtations, then ponders suicide; and somehow, somehow, there’s still time for cocktails with Julianne Moore’s neighbour-confidante.
As you’d expect coming from one of the doyens of the fashion world, the film never lacks for visual panache: slow-motion lingering on naked male flesh, endless close-ups of eyes, and a neat lighting trick whereby characters clad in bright Technicolor hues momentarily rejuvenate the hero’s austere, black-white-and-beige world. As the crisp perfection of Falconer’s shirts - or the five-minute sequence of Moore applying eyeliner - makes abundantly clear, Ford’s alertness to textures rivals latter-day Almodóvar.
This is a quietly persuasive debut from Tom Ford and the film is as immaculately constructed as Colin Firth’s designer suits. Contrary to preconceptions you might have from the director’s previous career, A Single Man is far from style over substance, tackling a significant novel and keeping its complex and adult themes fully intact.
Renowned fashion designer Tom Ford's directorial debut, A Single Man, is an elegant adaptation of Christopher Isherwood's short story.
In a BAFTA-winning performance, Colin Firth stars as George Falconer, a middle-aged English professor in 1960s Los Angeles, who is grieving the recent death of his long-time partner Jim (Matthew Goode). The relationship between the two men is traced in a series of flashbacks. Meanwhile, over the course of a single day, George dwells on his past and his seemingly bleak future; seeks consolation from his closest friend, Charley (Julianne Moore); has an unexpected encounter with a Spanish prostitute, and is stalked by over-enthusiastic student Kenny.
Length: 100 mins
Cat No: ICON10205
Format: DVD Colour
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