One of the official movie posters for Tom Ford's A Single Man. Image courtesy of Collider.
When I first heard about Tom Ford’s directorial debut, A Single Man, I immediately knew that I had to see it. I expected nothing less than beautiful scenes and beautiful clothes, which would be more than enough to keep me entertained for an hour and a half. Being someone who often gets his hopes up about films only to be disappointed, I entered A Single Man with little expectation, looking only to be entertained on a quiet day of winter vacation.
When the film began, I could instantly tell that it was the work of someone with an intense artistic background. The opening sequence is full of beautiful colors and mystery. I was worried that this film was going to strictly be a 90-minute art installation. However, I was pleasantly surprised when the plot began to take form.
A Single Man tells the story of George Falconer (Colin Firth), an English professor in Los Angeles who suddenly loses his partner to a car accident. The story is deeply rooted in normal human encounters with love, sex, and most importantly: fear. The decisions made by Falconer throughout the film often come as a surprise to the viewer and complicate the standard image of a gay man in the 1960's. The story was beautifully adapted for the big screen by Tom Ford, who proved that his talent extends far beyond the world of fashion.
While the acting and story line were excellent, what truly met my already-high expectations was the artistic direction. Every single frame was composed beautifully. Ford played with symmetry, saturation, pattern, and speed to further intensify the emotions in the scene. The beauty that comes across in each frame blew me away. If the plot bores you, it would be more than enough to just enjoy Ford’s stunning aesthetics throughout the film.
I would recommend this film to anyone who is interested in the complexity of human emotion and to anyone who enjoys beautiful cinematography. The storyline, while not being particularly strong, is completely concealed by the production companies in the trailer, so go in with an open mind because unless you have read the book, you probably do not know what the film is actually about.
Did you see A Single Man? What did you think?