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:: A Single Man

First time director Tom Ford may have already made a name for himself in the fashion industry but when it comes to film directing he makes an absolute meal of it and is so bad at his job that he nearly makes ‘A Single Man’ an unwatchable film. This is a classic case of why filmmaking should be left to filmmakers and not to someone who thinks ‘they have an idea for a film’.

Based on the novel by Christopher Isherwood, ‘A Single Man’ shows the aftermath of an University lecturer named George (Colin Firth) finding out that his boyfriend, Jim (Matthew Goode) has been killed in a car accident. Struggling to go on George spends the day rejecting the advances of Carlos (Jon Kortajarena), dining with best friend Charlotte (Julianne Moore) and having fun with one of his students, Kenny (Nicholas Hoult).

‘A Single Man’ has all the ingredients to be a great film. The screenplay leads to a gritty film that takes chances and should hold the audience’s interest, but unfortunately Tom Ford prevents that from hoping. It is obvious from the very start that Ford is desperate to create a style of filmmaking that will put his name up there with all the top directors and leave his mark on the film world. But unfortunately his style gets in the way of the story, causing it to become disjointed and at times meaning it is hard to work out where some characters fit into the story. He may capture some beautiful visuals, but in doing so he ruins the story at hand.

It is shame this has happened because it also detracts from a marvellous performance from Colin Firth who even manages to trump his own performance in ‘Genova’… he seriously just gets better and better with each film he does. Anyone doubting Firth’s ability should view this film and then try to mount an argument on why Firth isn’t one of the greatest leading men going around at the moment. Unfortunately Julianne Moore doesn’t get to shine here as her role almost seems pointless in the scheme of the film. She actually has a very small part and her character fails to move the story along at all. In fact, it just seems to take up screen time that would have been better spent exploring the relationship between George and Kenny.

‘A Single Man’ has been unfortunately raped in the hands of an over-zealous first director. In a bid to have his name in lights Ford pushes aside story and goes over-artistic… a real case of ego getting in the way of skill. With the story in tatters due to poor filmmaking the only thing that saves ‘A Single Man’ is a truly memorable performance by Colin Firth… he is a modern legend.