Friday, December 11, 2009
A Single Man
Tom Ford is best known as an accomplished fashion designer. However, he expands his artistic talent beyond the fashion industry into film in his impressive stylish feature directorial debut "A Single Man" (USA 2009 | 99 min.). This adaption of Christopher Isherwood's 1964 novel is a haunting emotional journey about a gay professor's finding hope in life after a devastating loss in love. This is a film about affectionate love and hope, as much as about loss and despair.
The film is set in Los Angeles during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, English professor George Falconer (Colin Firth) begins his day with the flashbacks of precious moments with his lover of 16 years, Jim (Matthew Goode), who is killed in a car accident recently. Although George often finds comfort from his best friend Charley (Julianne Moore), he is unable to overcome the grief from Jim's sudden death and is consumed by the unbearable pain. When a youthful student Kenny (Nicholas Hoult) enters his day, George's hope in life is awaken again.
Colin Firth's subtle performance as Goerge already won the Best Actor award at this year's Venice International Film Festival, and very likely will get an Oscar node. He brilliantly expresses George's complex emotion, sometimes without saying any word. This is his best performance to date.
Director Tom Ford demonstrates his root in fashion design throughout the film. Many frames look outrageously beautiful as if they are torn off a fashion magazine or a perfume ad. Besides the marvelous visual, the gorgeous music (by Abel Korzeniowski and Shigeru Umebayashi) is also effective and expressive to the story telling.
George's interation with his blue eyed young student Kenny is fascinating to watch. Nicholas Hoult plays Kenny who looks like an innocent angel, or an A&F model, depended on your perspective. Kenny's surreal beauty and energetic spirit make George begin to believe "Love is like a bus, you just have to wait for a little while, the next one will come along."