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A Single Man (2009)

tomatometer

85

Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 178
Fresh: 151 | Rotten: 27

Though the costumes are beautiful and the art direction impeccable, what stands out most from this debut by fashion designer Tom Ford is the leading performance by Colin Firth.

80

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 41
Fresh: 33 | Rotten: 8

Though the costumes are beautiful and the art direction impeccable, what stands out most from this debut by fashion designer Tom Ford is the leading performance by Colin Firth.

audience

81

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 56,155

My Rating

Movie Info

In Los Angeles 1962, at the height of the Cuban missile crisis George Falconer, a 52 year old British college professor is struggling to find meaning to his life after the death of his long time partner, Jim. George dwells on the past and cannot see his future as we follow him through a single day, where a series of events and encounters, ultimately lead him to decide if there is a meaning to life after Jim. George is consoled by his closest friend Charley, a 48-year-old beauty who is wrestling

R,

Drama

David Scearce, Tom Ford

Jul 6, 2010

$9.1M

The Weinstein Company - Official Site External Icon

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Cast

Latest News on A Single Man

February 15, 2010:
Exclusive: Oscar Nominee Colin Firth on A Single Man
For 15 years, Colin Firth remained best known for emerging from a lake in a white shirt as Mr Darcy...
December 10, 2009:
Critics Consensus: Princess, Invictus Are Certified Fresh
This week at the movies, we've got a Southern-fried fairy tale (The Princess and the Frog, with...

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All Critics (178) | Top Critics (41) | Fresh (151) | Rotten (27) | DVD (5)

Firth's portrayal of a man repressing his grief while being unable to repress his instinct for love and for life is excellent and moving, while Ford's balancing of depth and surface is precarious but ultimately winning.

February 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ford's eye for period detail is exact; brief cutaways, incisive dialogue, and charged glances telegraph the cold-war paranoia and sexual alienation of the early 60s.

January 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comment (1)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A Single Man still stands as a vivid portrait of life behind a veil, and Firth certainly delivers one of the best performances of the year.

January 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

His first time out, Ford has made one of the best films of the year.

January 13, 2010 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In this beautifully tailored drama, content and style have as vital a relationship as George and Jim did. The one would be lost without the other.

December 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of the year's more satisfying films.

December 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ford's film is an addict for prettiness and in the process resembles an excessively over-designed photo shoot rather than a film.

September 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Trespass
Trespass

What keeps the film anchored is the growing unease that Firth exudes in quiet, crushing waves. He's always at his best, single-handed.

July 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

...offers a raw view of the gay experience that has nothing to do with sex.

December 3, 2010 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm
LarsenOnFilm

Tom Ford's directorial debut A Single Man is unspeakably gorgeous to behold. From the glorious cinematography to the impossibly beautiful actors and actresses; no frame is wasted on anything even close to ugliness.

October 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Quickflix
Quickflix

El diseñador Tom Ford debuta como director de cine con el retrato íntimo e introspectivo de un personaje en crisis existencial. Una película sensible y madura, si bien peca de cierto exceso de esteticismo.

October 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

Director Tom Ford intends this film to be a celebration of life, but it misses the mark. The balance of this sorrow-laden film is too heavily weighted towards the depression side of the scales for that. Great performance by Firth, though.

September 4, 2010 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Tom Ford's feature directorial debut, A Single Man, is a bold first step, both visually ambitious and unapologetic about its point-of-view.

July 18, 2010 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

A patient and never less than gripping character study that serves as a reminder of the emotional intimacy achievable on film. [Blu-ray]

July 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

A highly impressive filmmaking debut by former Gucci designer Tom Ford.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Dark Horizons
Dark Horizons

The singular sensation of A Single Man is Colin Firth.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
Cleveland Plain Dealer

[Firth] the sturdiest reason for seeing this movie. He'll move you unless you're made of rock.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Movies.com
Movies.com

There's not much to this film, other than watching Firth act, and that's not enough to justify the price of admission.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: tonymedley.com | Comments (2)

Not only is the film meticulously designed, choreographed, and costumed, but everything is photographed (by young Spanish cinematographer Eduard Grau) with an eye towards conveying story and meaning via well-thought-out use of color.

July 4, 2010 Full Review Source: DCist | Comment (1)

Be it colour, composition or movement %u2013 Ford seems to have a natural ability to use the camera to create a vivid but tasteful milieu that works as both an eye-catching palette and an expressive representation of grief.

May 13, 2010 Full Review Source: Flicks.co.nz
Flicks.co.nz

There is no question that A Single Man is an exquisite film and an enviable filmmaking debut.

April 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Concrete Playground
Concrete Playground

The movie is very much like the character -- reserved but rich in detail.

March 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

The movie wasn't so much directed as it was designed.

March 1, 2010 Full Review Source: Triple J
Triple J

A somber character study of a gay man int he early 1960s, 'A Single Man' is a drama that features a remarkable, subdued performance by Colin Firth.

February 27, 2010 Full Review
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

Elegant and stylish, this is more of a showpiece for style than an emotional journey, with fashion-designer turned film director Tom Ford overwhelming Colin Firth's performance of a bereft man with some impeccably beautiful but detached imagery.

February 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Screenwize
Screenwize

It has been so long since Firth applied his undoubted talent to a film that truly warranted it, and he rises to the challenge in impressive fashion.

February 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Herald Sun (Australia)
Herald Sun (Australia)

Audience Reviews for A Single Man

Warning spoilers! Colin Firth gives a great performance. Set in the 1960s Colin is a college professor in LA. He gets devastating news about his partner of 16 years, who died in an accident and Colin isn't welcome to the funeral. He decides he is going to commit suicide. After interactions with different characters he decides not to do it but iconically suffers a heart attack.
September 9, 2012
thmtsang
Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

This film is beautiful!, in every way possible: dazzling cinematography, impeccable costumes and art direction, a wonderful score and one remarkable debut direction by fashion designer Tom Ford. Still, what stands out most is certainly Colin Firth's amazing leading performance.
January 7, 2012
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

One of the best of the year. Absolutely beautiful on every level. Stunning performances.
I heart Tom Ford.
November 13, 2011
kenstachnik

Super Reviewer

Based on a novel, this is the directorial debut of fashion designer Tom Ford. And, you know what, if he wanted to, the man could make a second career for himself in film because as far as debuts go, it's pretty good.

The story concerns a British professor named Georgewho teaches English at a California university. It's November 1962, and the Cuban Missle Crisis has had people on edge for a month. For 8 months now, George has been mourning the loss of his long time partner Jim, whom he was with for 16 years. It hasn't been easy for George, but somehow, he has managed. Yet, that is not enough, and he's reached the point where he's decided that he'd be better off if he'd commit suicide and put an end to his suffering.

The fim follows George over the course of what he is trying to make his final day. Most thigns happen as usual, but then there are of course the moments where he takes care of final bits of business and gets some loose ends tied up. Along the way, he has encounters with various people that have him thinking that mayeb he does still have a life that's worth livign after all. Interspersed throughout this narrative are various flashbacks from George's life together with Jim.

Despite being a serious character driven drama filled with sadness and pain, there are also a number of moments of hope, humor, and love. Underscoring the film is also a great sense of beauty. Even the darker moments have a kind of sad beauty to them, making the film very moving and touching.

This is a smart film filled with an excellent lead performance by Colin Firth, and some terrific supporting ones by Julianne moore, Nicholas Hoult, Matthew Goode, and Jon Kortajarena. The music is quite emotional and moving, and, as one moght expect (given Ford's background), this is a gorgeous looking film with some top notch art direction, set design, and costumes.

As good as the film is though, it's not perfect. I can probably forgive him for this since it's debut and he's morwe used to fashion, but I think Ford overdirects this film at times. I don't think there needed to be as much slow-mo, or the filter shifts from color to b&w. I think he was maybe just nervous or directed the film self consciously, trying too hard to make a good first impresion. In all honesty, I think it would have been better had he just trusted his actors and let them do the heavy lifting until he strengthened his chops.

Aside from that though, I don't have any real complaints. I think the film is well done, not boring, and mostly finds the right tone. It occasionally feels a bit heavy handed, but again, I think it's forgivable. It does handle the material in a sensible manner though, and I appreciate that. You should give this a watch, because it's pretty good.
October 8, 2011
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

    1. Kenny: I just wanted to see you some place other than school.
    2. George Falconer: Why?
    3. Kenny: Sometimes I think I'm crazy cos I see things so differently to everyone else. I feel like I can talk to you. To honest ,sir,I was also worried about you today.
    4. George Falconer: Me? What's there to worry about? I'm fine...I'm ...I'm fine...
    – Submitted by Milena K (21 months ago)
    1. George Falconer: You know, the only thing that's made the whole thing worthwhile has been those few times when I've been able to really, truly connect with another human being.
    – Submitted by Milena K (21 months ago)
    1. George Falconer: Looking in the mirror staring back at me isn't so much a face as the expression of a predicament.
    – Submitted by Antonia W (2 years ago)
    1. George Falconer: A few times in my life I've had moments of absolute clarity, when for a few brief seconds the silence drowns out the noise and I can feel rather than think, and things seem so sharp and the world seems so fresh. I can never make these moments last. I cling to them, but like everything, they fade. I have lived my life on these moments. They pull me back to the present, and I realize that everything is exactly the way it was meant to be.
    – Submitted by Rudy L (3 years ago)
    1. Carlos: Sometimes awful things have their own kind of beauty.
    – Submitted by Tammy H (3 years ago)
View all quotes (5)

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