A Single Man is designer Tom Ford’s impeccably stylish screen adaptation of Christopher Isherwood’s eloquent novel about George, a gay professor whose lover of 16 years is killed in a car crash. It is about his silent screaming grief, deafeningly silent in 1963 when gay relationships were invisible.
Firth is operatic, unpredictable and subtle, giving a completely interior performance. It is completely faithful to Isherwood, which makes it unique from the start. His scenes with Matthew Goode as his deceased lover are so understated and true.
Julliane Moore as his best friend who still wants to sleep with him to cure her lonliness is a boozy, sloopy bored Brit with faublous taste and Ann Margaret hair.
Kudos to Ford for getting this uncommercial movie made. Of course all of the production design, clothing and 63′ assessories are impeccable under Ford guidance. And the visual look of the film, has a completely period aesthetic that is not overdone. A fine tribute to Isherwood and pretty tore de forcey for Firth.
So much of the invisibility of gay life at the time is captured. Meeting his lover in a seaside bar during WWII. Sharing homelife without inclusion or intrusion from relatives, the veiled homoerotica in academic circles and then of course there is the fab dancing.