Jen Yamato
A Single Man Review

Jen's Rating:

5.0

Gay grief, Gucci-style.

Who’s In It: Colin Firth, Matthew Goode, Julianne Moore, Nicholas Hoult

The Basics: Months after the accidental death of his partner, Jim (Matthew Goode), 1960s-era college professor George Falconer (Colin Firth) is still brokenhearted. He trudges through his now-empty house in a funk, forcing himself to “become George” every morning just to get through the day. But as George’s depression becomes increasingly unbearable, he experiences a series of beautiful moments that renew his appreciation of life.

What’s The Deal: In his first effort as a director, fashion designer Tom Ford (Gucci, anyone?) has crafted a gem of a film around fantastically detailed production designs from the folks who dress the Mad Men sets (!) and an Oscar-worthy performance by Colin Firth. At times still and impressionistic, Ford’s stylish film captures two kinds of “singleness” -- the loneliness of losing one’s life partner and the cautious isolation of being gay in 1960s America. It’s a beautiful and sad reflection on love and loss that incidentally features no shortage of hot young men and really nice suits.

Colin Firth For Best Actor!: Within Ford’s artfully composed setting, Firth gives a nuanced performance that takes George from conservative older grump to a man reborn by the beauty of youth and the comfort of an old friend. The film is short on dialogue, allowing Firth’s George to wander in a grief-induced daze, soaking in the flashes of vibrancy and life that come to him in a series of moments, however fleeting. In these moments, Firth can do wonders with just the twinge of an eye or a hesitant look. In five words: Get this man an Oscar.

Tom Ford’s Got Pretty Friends: He self-financed A Single Man by himself with that Gucci money, so naturally Tom Ford was able to get a few of his haute couture pals to join the film. (Close friend Julianne Moore was one of them.) Look for Spanish male model Jon Kortajarena (AKA Jon K., named the eighth-most successful male model in the world by Forbes) as a hottie drifter who shares a moment with George outside of a convenience store. Later, you might realize where you’ve seen George’s cherubic, but way-too-interested English student Kenny before; he’s the kid from About a Boy, all grown up.

The Period Actress Of Her Generation: No actress does mod-retro better than Julianne Moore; aside from looking like she belongs in kitten heels and Cleopatra eyes, a cigarette holder in hand, Moore balances gin-swilling, fur coated sex-starved desperation with an important dash of class. Here, she shines as George’s wealthy divorcee BFF, though her British accent could use some polish.

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