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United States, 2009
Directed By: Tom Ford
Written By: Tom Ford from the novel written by Christopher Isherwood
Starring: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, and Matthew Goode
Running Time: 101 minutes
Rated R Rated R for some disturbing images and nudity/sexual content.
Besides injecting fashion sense, it appears the man who once saved Gucci can proverbially plunge his poetic syringe into the hearts and minds of moviegoers.
A Single Man, the directorial debut of fashion designer Tom Ford, has seemingly brought actor Colin Firth past the realm of type-casting that has plagued a considerable span of his career. Firth, known for his always playing the always amiable English gentleman, digs deep to hone in on a subtle, yet heart wrenching performance as a homosexual English professor reeling from the loss of his lover from a tragic car accident. Firth, as George delves within a character study saturated by symbolism both abstract and poignant. His delivery is calm, piercing, and conjures the “what if” the what if that may have one asking, ’if I lost the love of my life, a forbidden love by society’s standard, how would I grieve, where could I possibly turn for condolence?”
Seems the only person George can turn to is a neighbor, a lonely woman by the name of Charley (Julianne Moore) with a big heart. The two bond and vent, emitting their frustrations over a relationship both conflicted and loving.
But it is enough for Charley to move on and continue his life?
With this, the assumation of a thematic question, Ford directs a movie heavy with a burdening secret. Firth delivers a melancholy performance but fails to overact and emotionally manipulate his audience. For those craving a linear plot dealing with such deep subject manner, A Single Man may frustrate. But tamed, subdued viewers accustomed to a more cerebral approach in regards to drama, will walk away feeling all questions have been answered and abstractions were well executed and revealing.