A Single Man (Tom Ford, 2009)


Colin Firth (George), Julianne Moore (Charley), Nicholas Hoult (Kenny), Matthew Goode (Jim). Screenplay by Tom Ford. Directed by Tom Ford. Rating: 12. Running time: 94 minutes.

It really doesn’t surprise me to learn that Tom Ford, the director of A Single Man, used to be a fashion designer. This is a film so pain-stakingly beautiful that you should be happy to watch it with the audio turned off. However touching and solemnly reflective the film itself is, it is, first and foremost, a film that is supposed to be seen. It’s set in the 1960s and the aesthetics are nothing short of stunning: the colour of every scene so consistently stylish, everyone appearing so vividly full of life. Everyone except the main character, George, who always looks as if he is in monotone with only negative emotion left showing on his face. He’s depressed; he plans to commit suicide at the end of the day that the film documents. He’s tried life in the aftermath of his partner, Jim’s, death, but nowadays he just goes through the motions on a daily basis, no longer enjoying teaching, literature, conversation or anything else he used to find so sweet when his loved one was there. We watch him say farewell to the people in his life in his own subtle way, the main two being an old flame, Charley, who he spends the evening with, and Kenny, an intriguing student who takes a liking to George. These encounters are intertwined with flashbacks and memories of life when Jim was alive, and the contrast is unbearable for us just as it is for George. A truly awesome film; be prepared to be moved in a very deep way.

One Response to “A Single Man (Tom Ford, 2009)”

  1. 1 Academy awards: what will win and what should. « jacob williamson | thoughts on film

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