Who would have thought that a fashion designer would be able to make one of the years ten best films. Well, fashion designer and first time director Tom Ford has done just that. Yes the fact that he's a fashion designer rubs off on his filmmaking for sure, you see it in the characters with their stylish hair and their clothing and even the way they walk around or lean up against a wall. But Tom Ford has made a film with such style and passion that not a shot passes by that doesn't effect the audience, not a moment unplanned, not a scene is wasted.
Colin Firth plays George. A man who's trying to live his days as normal as possible after the death of his beloved partner Jim, played by Matthew Goode, who I absolutely loved in The Lookout. The story revolves around George going about his daily routine all the while planning on killing himself with a pistol that he carts around with him in his bag. We see him as a College professor teaching his class, making contact with his neighbors, making a transaction at the bank, meeting a James Dean looking man named Carlos at the liquor store, having dinner with his friend and fling of the past Charley, who is played by Julianne Moore, and having a night to remember with one of his students that just feels oh so familiar to him. But through every transaction that he has with a human or even a dog at one point, we see that he truly recognizes the beauty in every moment that he's experiencing, and he appreciates it. But while this is all going on we are frequently shown flashbacks of him sharing moments with his lover Jim and that shows us why he still has the urge to want to kill himself. Because from our view he kind of looks happy, but we see just how much more happy he was with Jim and we feel for him.
Colin Firth put on a a courageous performance portraying someone who is trying to get on with living without his lover, someone who's still much in love with his deceased lover, and someone who still enjoys a lot about life but still has the plan to kill himself. It's really quite amazing when you think about it that an actor is able to channel and control all those feelings and emotions all at once in one single scene, and keep it going throughout the entire film. The rest of the cast including Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode, and Nicholas Hoult all did fine jobs as well.
The real praise in my opinion goes to the director Tom Ford. He must have really felt something deep inside when he read this novel because he executed it perfectly on screen with feeling and absolute effective stylish shots and sequences. When they're mixed together with the beautiful score and played before our eyes on the big screen it makes you clench your fist with joy. This is a great cinematic accomplishment and I'll say it again, it's one of the ten best films of the year and should get a few Oscar noms as well. A Single Man gets 4 and 1/2 outa 5.