review//A SINGLE MAN

This was on my list of movies to see last year and I never got a chance to until now. Just released on DVD this week, Tom Ford's directorial debut stars Colin Firth, in an Academy Award-nominated performance, as an English professor in 1960's Los Angeles. The film follows him as he goes about his life after the death of his partner.
The performances are impeccable. Firth is very deserving of his Oscar nod. He is one minute charming, the next broken-hearted. He allows himself to be completely taken over by this character. Moore gives a performance she's become expected to give. As Charley, the washed-up best friend of Firth's George, Moore also allows herself to take on this other identity. The hurt and pain of the world is covered up with the booze and fun Charley likes to have. At one point she even mentions how she's planning on moving back to her native London to get away from the hurt of LA, and when George questions her about when she'll be leaving, she answers, "I'm not leaving. That's ridiculous."
Though the heavy nature of the content of the film may be too much for some crowds, the underlying theme of the hurt of a broken heart and the loss of a loved one is the main theme here. When George tries to cope, he uses all means necessary. Whether it's a fun night with Charley, a one night stand with a Spanish stranger, or an affair with one of his college students, Firth's George is a perfect look at a broken, vulnerable human being.
Ford, the famous fashion designer, holds his own, creating a beautifully styled picture. The cinematography is perfect. The costumes and music are perfect. Reminds one of a classic cinematic work from the 50's or 60's. Sit in your leather armchair, grab a glass of your favorite scotch, and enjoy.

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