Feature

A Single Man

Fashion designer Tom Ford's first film is adapted from Christopher Isherwood's novel about a closeted gay English professor, played by Colin Firth, who loses his lover in a car accident.

Directed by Tom Ford
(R)

***

A closeted gay professor grieves the death of his lover.

The first foray into filmmaking by fashion designer Tom Ford is as gorgeous as you’d expect, said Peter Travers in Rolling Stone. Loosely adapting the Christopher Isherwood novel, Ford delivers a “stunningly visualized” portrait of an era. Colin Firth gives the performance of his career, as George Falconer, a closeted Englishman teaching literature in Los Angeles in 1962, who loses his lover in a car accident. Ford infuses every frame with a “sorrowful beauty,” giving his love story a “ravishing, bruised grandeur.” A Single Man may be beautiful, but Ford’s images seem to exist only for “vanity, not to serve the story,” said Stephanie Zacharek in Salon.com. While Firth subtly explores Falconer’s depths, Ford’s superficial take on a complex tale squanders supporting players such as Julianne Moore. It’s easy to dismiss a film that’s as pretty as a “99-minute perfume commercial,” said Nathan Rabin in The Onion. Yet Ford marries style with real substance by keeping Falconer’s aching heart at the film’s core. Together he and Firth create a “poignant meditation on grief, memory, and loss.”

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