Film Review: A Single Man


A Single Man, set in Los Angeles in the 1960’s, is Tom Ford’s directorial debut from 2009. The film tells the story of an English professor named George Falconer (Colin Firth), who opens the film awakening from a terrible dream about the death of his long-time partner Jim (Matthew Goode). George couldn’t visit his partner’s family with him as they didn’t agree with their relationship but, in his dream, George is able to lie beside Jim and kiss him goodbye. George thinks back to the day when he received the phone call telling him about the accident and remembers breaking down to his best friend Charley (Julianne Moore). One year later, still struggling to cope, we follow George through a single day as he decides whether his life is worth continuing without Jim or not.

As he leaves work, George finishes the rest of his whisky and packs a gun into his suitcase as he clears his desk. Outside, he is approached by one of his students, Kenny (Nicholas Hault). Observing his depression and his empty desk, Kenny confronts George, asking if he would like to go out for a drink. Over the day, George visits Charley, bumps into a handsome stranger, and gets to know Kenny a little better. But will any of this change the way George felt when he woke up?

Based on the 1964 novel by ­Christopher Isherwood, Colin Firth triumphs in his performance. This is possibly my favourite film starring Firth and, from this, he has gained a lot of my respect. He plays his character with such deep emotion, and the tragic twist at the end of the film makes the audience really feel for him. Never before have I felt anything towards his acting, so I can only hope that he begins to play more roles like this one. I have to admit that he has aged extremely well also and, whilst being made to look older for this production, the hint of grey in his hair is actually quite sexy.

This is an outstanding film about love and loss that is visually stunning and has a number of great scenes that often provoke emotion. A Single Man has placed itself among one of my favourites.

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