Tom Ford's A Single Man, adapted from the novel by Christopher Isherwood, is a suitably dramatic but also enormously stylish and disarmingly funny account of a gay man preparing to commit suicide in the wake of his partner's tragic death.
Taking place over the course of one day in early-1960's Los Angeles, A Single Man's strongest attribute is a magnificent, Oscar-nominated lead performance by Colin Firth as Professor George Falconer. I believe Firth would have won the Academy Award for Best Actor if a certain Jeff Bridges hadn't snuck in under the wire with Crazy Heart. Firth will have to content himself with his Venice Film Festival and BAFTA awards. His performance is subtle and frequently amusing as well as heartbreaking.
Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode and Nicholas Hoult provide excellent support. In addition to a director's commentary by Ford, the DVD has a great, 12-minute making-of documentary that includes insightful interviews with Ford and all the principle cast members. Worth noting among Firth's and Hoult's recollections is how "well put-together" fashion designer Ford was while shooting his first movie. Firth remarks that Ford "consistently looked better behind the camera than any of us in front of it."
As Ford himself notes, "Fashion is fleeting; film lasts forever." A Single Man deserves a prominent place in GLBT and general cinema history. If you haven't seen it — or even if you have — buy or rent the Blu-Ray or DVD today!
Congratulations to Terry A. of Chicago, IL, the winner of our "I Want A Single Man" contest, sponsored by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment! Thanks to all who entered!
Review by Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and the Orange County and Long Beach Blade.