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A Single Man [DVD]

4.1 out of 5 stars 219 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode, Nicholas Hoult
  • Directors: Tom Ford
  • Writers: Christopher Isherwood
  • Format: DVD-Video, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Icon Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 7 Jun. 2010
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (219 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003BEDAWC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,939 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Former fashion impresario Tom Ford directs this drama based on a short story by Christopher Isherwood. In a BAFTA-winning performance, Colin Firth stars as George Falconer, a middle-aged English professor in 1960s Los Angeles, who is grieving the recent death of his long-time partner Jim (Matthew Goode). The relationship between the two men is traced in a series of flashbacks. Meanwhile, over the course of a single day, George dwells on his past and his seemingly bleak future; seeks consolation from his closest friend, Charley (Julianne Moore); has an unexpected encounter with a Spanish prostitute (Jon Kortajarena); and is stalked by over-enthusiastic student Kenny (Nicholas Hoult).

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

'A Single Man' is a film based upon the 1964 Christopher Isherwood novella of the same name. Set during the height of the Cuban missle crisis, it depicts a day in the life of gay college professor George Falconer (Colin Firth). Falconer is still coming to terms with the untimely death of lover Jim (Matthew Goode). His soul & mind are tormented with desires of his own death and an undying fear of the outside world. Falconer cuts a desolute figure and he fails to see any point to his life beyond mere exsistence. He seems to shut everyone out through fear of commitment & friendship, shunning his neighbouring family at every oppurtunity (although in the most polite fashion possible), distancing himself from his students with talk of fear & self-hatred and forcing arguaments with long time companion Charley (the ever-excellent Julianne Moore). Into this life of solitude enters enthusiastic student Kenny Potter (Nicholas Hoult) who little-by-little begins to break away at the mental wall Falconer has set around himself and give him some meaning to his life. Thus plays out one of the most beautiful and stately films to have come out of Hollywood in decades.

Director Tom Ford deserves much praise for his adaptation. As a first time director (his day job is in fashion) who had to finance the film himself, he shows a mixture of patience and flair that will take him far in the world of film. The way the film slowly unravels its intentions without giving anything away too early (at one point I thougth Charley would turn out to be some kind of high-class working girl!!!) is beautifully rendered.
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I watched the film adaption of A Single Man last night on the box and ordered it immediately. It was a special book to me, probably Ishwerwood's best. I am no particular fan of Colin Firth, but his depiction of George was disturbingly accurate: he portrayed perfectly the sense of double exile in 1960s America: an ex pat Brit and a homosexual. The film is pleasantly observed, beautifully made, and for once existentially true to the book although there were some notable changes in dialogue and character. I first read this in 1986 - ironically the year Isherwood died - and of course in my vanity I associated myself with Kenny (who is well casted by the British actor from Skins). Now of course I realize I am George, in fact I AM George, and the bitter sweat entropy he feels is painted out on the screen with care. Afterwards I re-read the book: it does make me wonder whether now, in an era of sexual acceptance and openness, this sort of novel could be written. Isherwood would have rejected the idea of a gay novel, (he tried to embrace the idea of the American novel late in his life) but the secrecy implicit to George's life is was makes the book (and the film) so subversive and well observed. Now all is open and revealed and what gave Isherwood's work its peculiar grace, could not be written.
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A movie based on the novel by Christopher Isherwood. Colin Firth plays a man who has lost his lover and finds himself unable to go on. He plans to end his life and we follow him through what should be his last day, during which he rediscovers some of the things that could make life worth living again, but it might still be to late for him.

Much has been made of the fact that the movie looks beautiful and it does, but more than anything else it's the acting that really lifts the movie towards perfection. Colin Firth shows a side I had not appreciated in him before, projecting tremendously understated but heartbreaking emotion both in the way he delivers his lines and his non-verbal acting. Perhaps with the gravity of the subject there was a risk that this would lurch towards melodrama but that absolutely never happens. In fact quite often the movie is funny as well as profoundly moving.

Visually the movie is perfect but I was struck by the quality of the sound effects as well. The way certain emotions and characters don't just project their own effect on the visual world of the movie but also carry their own sound theme throughout the movie opened the door to the main characters experience of the world in a way I had not expected.

Beautiful and unforgettable. A perfect debut.
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Based on the novel by Christopher Isherwood, the film follows one day in the life of George Falconer, a gay British University lecturer living in California. His male partner has died recently in a car accident and George is left understandably devastated. His partner's family deny him his right to attend the funeral and so grieve for his partner properly. Instead we find him in a state of limbo - trying to continue with the demands of daily life while finding life without his partner impossible. The film is set in 1962 and the Cuban missile crisis being at its height provides a suitable backdrop for someone contemplating if there is any point in carrying on.

It sounds like this would make for depressing viewing but somehow it doesn't. George is brilliantly portrayed by Colin Firth in a role completely different to the rom-coms he is so often associated with. For me, he was utterly convincing and really manages to convey this character in an understated yet sympathetic way. There are also flashes of real humour throughout. Julianne Moore plays his gin-soaked, ex-pat best friend, who seems to have been based on Ab Fab's Patsy. I usually love Julianne Moore but I found her self-indulgent character a little difficult to reconcile with the rest of the film. I haven't read the book though so maybe this is exactly how she is portrayed.

The film is directed by Tom Ford, the ex-Creative Director of Gucci, and is, as you would expect, a real visual treat. Painstaking care and attention has been lavished on ensuring the era is perfectly captured and I felt I had been transported back to the sixties. Apparently the design team that was used for the film was the same one that worked on the TV series Mad Men, which is set in the same era.
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