Some films you stumble upon by pure chance. Some films you hear being discussed in the street. Some films you watch because they have become classics. And others you end up seeing because, well truth be told, you simply must. A Single Man is one of those movies. With three Golden Globe nominations and many more from the Toronto, Venice, Tokyo and London Film Festivals, to say Tom Ford’s adaptation of the 1964 novel by Christopher Isherwood was a success would be an impressive understatement.
Though the story in itself is beautifully told, as we watch a man experience love, loss and the meaning of the present moment, what truly spoke to me was the film in itself, the way it was done, the artwork put into place, making it blatantly obvious that the director was influenced by fashion. Of course, you only need to read the name Tom Ford to understand why that is.
Set in L.A. in 1962, A Single Man gives us a beautiful rendition of what it meant to be young in America after the Second World War. That feeling of freedom and infinite possibilities is ubiquitous, and the general ambiance shown just blew my mind. The way they had fun, the way they dressed, the way they lived – athough they were in the middle of a huge crisis – was… Inspiring. Even from a strictly material point of view, the cars, the architecture, the clothes, the make up! God, if I had a time machine. That’s where I’d want to be, without a doubt.
Beehive hairstyles, eyes thickly coated in black eyeliner, simple but ever-so-chic clothes… If you know Tom Ford, you know he didn’t pick just anyone to look after the fashion side of his masterpiece. And you’re right. Arianne Phillips, famous superstar costume designer and personal stylist to Madonna is to thank for this amazing contribution. The whole film is just beautiful take after beautiful take… Which is down to this amazing artistic duo’s collaboration, as well as the actors’ talent. I personally have a tremendous soft spot for both Colin Firth and Julianne Moore, especially the latter, so to see them together, in post-war America in th 60s, clad in absolutely incredible clothes… Well, what more could one (namely me) possibly ask for ?
A Single Man is a work of art, one which you should see even if fashion is not a personal interest of yours, and if it is, well… What on earth are you waiting for ?!