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A Single Man - Definitely Singular

Posted by Miss Ess, December 30, 2009 04:22pm | Post a Comment
In many ways, it seems like a bad idea for someone who is a fashion designer to make a film, doesn't it? It seems so egotistical, so over the top, for someone with great success in one highly visible industry to attempt it in another. Sure, occasionally it works out, but for the most part, we've seen enough celebrities try their hands at creative endeavors in genres other than the one they've become popular in to great failure. Bruce Willis, anyone? Mariah Carey? Russell Crowe? Ethan Hawke?

But Tom Ford has, against the odds, done it well. A Single Man, his first feature film, is out now and it is fantastic.

a single man

See, for all the reasons that making a film when you are a highly accomplished fashion designer sounds a single man colin firthlike a potential disaster, there are other reasons that make sense if (big if) it is done right; after all, both film and fashion are visual mediums. And Tom Ford proves yet again that he has a gifted eye by beautifully and movingly capturing the anguish and lasting sorrow of an English professor living in Los Angeles in 1962. After about a year, George Falconer (played by Colin Firth) still can't get over the sudden death of his long term lover. Ford brings precision and artistry to the film, taking the viewer directly into the George's world, showing us how slowly time ticks by, how he feels like he is drowning, his total isolation and all-consuming grief. His world has literally faded to grey and we see its colors through his eyes. There are moments of brightness, but mostly it is dulled.

The film also portrays the suffocating feeling of being forced to stay clojulianne moore a single manseted in the early 60s. Julianne Moore is perfection as Charley, George's desperate, gilded best (only?) friend. Aside from Charley, George is kept from connecting to the vast majority of the world even if he wanted to, simply by his status as a gay man in an unaccepting society. This, along with his unspeakable sorrow, causes him to feel disconnected from pretty much everything and everyone, but the events of the single day in which the film takes place try to show him otherwise.
chris and don: a love story
Befitting a film made by someone who has spent his career in visual design, the film is awash in eye candy, from the sets to the clothing, of course. Being angsty, stereotype shattering and set in '62, of course it's Mad Men-esque, and Jon Hamm even has an appearance in the film, although it is just his recognizable voice over the phone.

The film is based on the novel by Christopher Isherwood. If you haven't seen Chris and Don: A Love Story, the documentary about Isherwood and his boyfriend's luxurious, artistic lives in Los Angeles from the '50s to the '80s, please do, maybe even before you check out A Single Man. Understanding Isherwood's life brings a depth to the story that makes A Single Man all the more exquisite and all the more heartbreaking.

Here is the trailer:


Relevant Tags

A Single Man (2), Tom Ford (1), Colin Firth (1), Mad Men (15), Julianne Moore (1), Gay (18), Chris And Don A Love Story (1)