When: Thursday, 25 February - Thursday, 8 April
Where: Various cinemas
How much: Various
There was little doubt fashion designer Tom Ford’s debut film was going to have style, but what about substance? Effortlessly silencing doubters, Ford has taken Christopher Isherwood’s novel, infused a layer of autobiography and drawn an impeccable portrait of grief, love and, quite literally, the light of life.
It’s 1962 and college professor George (Colin Firth) awakes from a nightmare in his architectural, glass box of a house. Jim (Matthew Goode), his partner of 16 years, is dead, and it is his car crash that haunts George’s dreams. Deciding to reunite with him, George suits up for his final day on earth, but while he stoically settles his affairs and silently says his goodbyes to his fiery best friend Charley (Julianne Moore), the tantalising appeal of life — personified by luminescent youth Kenny (Nicholas Hoult) — pulls at his plans.
There is no question that A Single Man is an exquisite film and an enviable filmmaking debut. Firth’s superbly rendered performance is matched by an evocative soundtrack and sublime visuals that show Ford’s clear command of colour, close up and (less surprisingly) costume. Lean and lithe, Firth cuts a mean figure in his suit, while George’s grey world flushes with luscious colour each time the vibrancy of life muscles in on his mourning.
As arresting as Wong Kar Wai’s transcendent In the Mood For Love, Ford’s superlative study of passion and restraint is a singular film indeed.
By Alice Tynan