Press Play: A Single Man

Press Play: A Single Man

Jul 07, 2010

This week's must-see DVD/BD, and why we're lovin' it.

What? A Single Man

Who? Directed by Tom Ford and starring Colin Firth, Julianne Moore and Matthew Goode

Why? This Mad Men-era drama based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Isherwood is the directorial debut of fashion maven Tom Ford, who proves here that he knows his way around a camera as well as a hemline. Colin Firth gives an Oscar-nominated performance as George Falconer, a gay British professor living in Southern California in 1962. George’s life has been derailed since his longtime partner, Jim (Matthew Goode), was killed in an auto accident eight months earlier and Jim’s family refused to let him attend the funeral. Dwelling on the past and unable to envision a future for himself, George makes preparations for his suicide that evening. The lost professor plans a dinner with his best female friend, Charley (Julianne Moore), and gives a final lecture, but it’s an unexpected encounter with a male prostitute (John Kortajarena) that might finally relieve him of his grief.

The first thing you notice about A Single Man is the attention to the architecture and clothing of the period, the latter of which is designed by the same production team that works on Mad Men, which is also set during the Kennedy era. But fashionista Ford did much more than create a retro modeling shoot here thanks to the heartbreaking performance by Firth and another award-worthy role by the forever-fearless Moore. Firth’s extra-nice gestures to the people he encounters on his last day is his subtle way of saying goodbye and his quiet agony will resonate with anyone who has encountered injustice…or simply has a heart. What Else?: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain commentary by Ford, but “The Making of A Single Man” featurette gives viewers the best look at what it takes to re-create California in 1962.

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