A Single Man (2009) – Film Review

A Single Man

Director: Tom Ford
Cast: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode
Certificate: 12

by Matt Callard

Another book-to-film adaptation and another typecast-shredding performance. This time from Colin Firth as George, a gay middle-aged professor going through the aching minutiae of his lonely life a short while after the death of his lover.

A Single Man the film, like Christopher Isherwood’s semi-autobiographical book, takes place across one solitary day. It uses vivid flashbacks of the couple’s former life together to contrast with George’s now stark coming-to-terms existence.

A flawless Julianne Moore is George’s closest friend. She is hopelessly in love with him and trying to disassemble the emotional wall around him.

a single man film review firth

“A wholly satisfying experience”

Suicide hangs in the solemn air and, just as you begin to pine for a break to the melancholy, the film delivers a beautiful and simple resolve. From somewhere it plucks a convincing and definitive reason-for-living from the ashen grief.

It’s a wholly satisfying experience and first time Director Tom Ford (yes, that is the fashion designer Tom Ford) should not have gone further and tagged-on a pointless and rather nasty final act which cheapens the whole film.

Regardless, here’s Firth’s Oscar and a memorable, heartbreaking piece of cinema.


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