"A Single Man" is about the life of a gay-middle-aged university professor, George (Colin Firth), who lost his architect lover, Jim (Matthew Goode), in an auto crash. The film opens with George receiving a phone call informing him of Jim's death. Jim's family had no intention of telling George of the tragedy or of inviting him to the funeral, which he does not attend.
The film follows the next 24 hours as George grapples with life after Jim. George goes to his classroom to lecture on Aldous Huxley, where he is sexually stalked by a male student, Kenny (Nicholas Hoult). George successfully fends him off, only to have Kenny seek him out later that day. They go skinny dipping in the warm waters of the Pacific and later go to George's home. George is also hit on that day by a charming Spanish-speaking hustler, Carlos (Jon Kortajarena)--I thought their serendipitous meeting and conversation in Spanish was one of the high points of the film.. George also has dinner that evening with onetime girlfriend, Charley (Julianne Moore). Charley is now an aging alcoholic longing to embrace him to which George half-heartedly responds. During these 24 hours, George decides to kill himself and practices with a gun he has in his home.
This is an important homosexual film based on a first-rate novel with a first-rate cast and probably a harbinger of similar movies to come. Many viewers will be disappointed that the movie only hints at intimacy rather than showcasing it. I don't understand why Director Tom Ford did not include them. It would not surprise me if we soon see Brad Pitt featured in a gay film. In my opinion, the best movie to date on the subject of "the love that dare not speak its name," so described by Oscar Wilde, is "Sunday, Bloody Sunday."
In the end, this is not a great film but certainly worth seeing. The director and co-writer of the screenplay is the heralded clothing designer Tom Ford. Ford was recently interviewed on the Charlie Rose Show about the film and his own personal life. During the interview, he touched on the fact that he is gay. He also pointed out that the film is based on a book of the same title written by Christopher Isherwood.
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