January 25, 2010

A Single Man (2010)

I must admit I wanted to see A Single Man after seeing the poster alone, with Julianne Moore in her 60's makeup and hairdo and Colin Firth in his wide-rimmed glasses. Never before has the production design been so instrumental to a film as it is here. I suppose I am now a 'fan' of Dan Bishop, the PD on both Mad Men and Carnivàle, which really gave this film its look and style. I am less of a fan of Tom Ford, with his blatant color changes and long sequences that seem to only be there to admire the film's style, instead of making said style a part of the film. In this respect, Ford fetishises Bishop's work and turns his movie from a creation of Tom Ford to a creation that idolizes Bishop and Isherwood's work. Performances are solid, with Firth providing one of his strongest ones yet. It is a pleasure to look at, and can only imagine that it is an appropriate adaptation to Isherwood's novel. In this respect, Ford's film seems to disprove the auteur theory, and it becomes no longer a Tom Ford film, but rather an Isherwood/Bishop/Firth film. Don't watch if you can't handle style-over-plot unless you're completely obsessed with Bishop's work.