Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Review: A Single Man

A Single Man
Directed by Tom Ford

General Release from 14 February 2010 (UK)

Reviewed by Paul Kane


A film of quite singular beauty; its power to move derives from a number of elements, of which one should mention, above all, Colin Firth’s immense lead performance.

The world of this film – America in the early 1960s, at the time of the Cuban missile crisis – is as perfectly realised as in any of Tim Burton’s Gothic creations. Indeed, the period detail and digital colouring is so distinctive and realistic as to be oddly disconcerting, placing the viewer at once in a world unlike our own. It is wonderful to look at.

Tom Ford's direction moves the story along at a stately tempo, and the music aids in this respect too. Abel Korzeniowski and Shigeru Umebayashi's score is sublime.
One cannot help but feel that a film as well made as this - as intelligent, clear-sighted and well-observed - is a tribute to Isherwood himself (he of ‘I am a camera’ fame) and not just an adaptation of one of his many fine novels.

Ford’s directorial debut is a masterpiece, compelling and irresistible.


Paul Kane lives and works in Manchester, England. He welcomes responses to his reviews and you can reach him at ludic@europe.com.

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