Tuesday, March 9, 2010
WORTH-IT: (Tom Ford) Based on the novel by Christopher Isherwood, A Single Man is the story of (shocker) a single man, mourning the loss of his 16-year partner. All alone now, living in the L.A. suburbs, the professor of English, George Falconer, finds waking up every morning unbearable, and on a particular morning, sets out to make it his last. The film illustrates those plans, him putting things in order and leaving behind a lonely world with little to clean up. Unfortunately, as he checks off his list, an unexpected magnitude finds itself attached to several things he had originally thought easy to leave forgotten. It surprises him by proving his intentions wrong, and we see a conflicted man start to find happiness again. Colin Firth plays the troubled Falconer--poised and polished, yet humbled by sadness but dressed to kill--a true reflection of screenwriter/director/producer Tom Ford. In fact, the film's success lies within that style. No character goes unnoticed via their wardrobe. Even with the muted color palette to mimic old film, the textures and the tailoring stand out, speaking to the trendy reputation Mr. Ford maintains. If you've read the story, don't expect everything to mirror Isherwood's original story, but be reassured that his motifs carry on, making this film one of melancholy hopefulness - a subtle tragedy of heart and mind amidst a greater realization of existence. It struggles initially, yet succumbs to fate almost simultaneously, inspiring freewill and spontaneity (in the name of style).