In 1960's Los Angeles, a closeted gay professor mourns
the death of his longtime partner and contemplates suicide.
A Single Man (2009)
Directed by Tom Ford
Written by Tom Ford and David Scearce
Starring Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Nicholas Hoult,
Matthew Goode, Ginnifer Goodwin, Lee Pace
Based on the novel by Christopher Isherwood
Oscar Nominations - Best Actor (Colin Firth)
A Single Man is a poignant drama about love, and more importantly the loss of love. In the 1960's, it was still a societal taboo to be gay, and being out could mean the end of your career, your social standing, and in some horrific cases your life. A film like this is important for giving audiences a glimpse into what a life in the shadows was like, and how you couldn't even mourn openly without risking exposure. It's hard to believe this is director Tom Ford's first movie, as he already has an impressive eye and can expertly craft a drama, as I'd seen already with his 2016 thriller Nocturnal Animals. But A Single Man is cut from a different cloth.
Colin Firth gives the performance of his career as the wounded and suicidal George Falconer, a man on the brink of giving up after the sudden death of his boyfriend, Jim (Goode). He's already decided to end it all, and the film follows George on his supposed last day as he puts his affairs in order. He has a drink with his longtime friend Charley (Moore), and goes home to put a gun in his mouth, but his repeated encounters with a student of his, Kenny (Hoult), encourages him to give life one more chance. Every performance shines, but Firth gives it his all.
Another highlight I'd like to point out is the gorgeous score by composer Abel Korzeniowski. It accompanies George's emotional confliction perfectly. A Single Man is a film I doubt many have seen. It's a great film that will bring most anyone to tears. Regrettably, a lot of us can relate to the loss of love in more ways than one, and George's journey to cope with his loss is simply breathtaking.