7.6/10
103,180
277 user 297 critic

A Single Man (2009)

Trailer
3:45 | Trailer
An English professor, one year after the sudden death of his boyfriend, is unable to cope with his typical days in 1960s Los Angeles.

Director:

Tom Ford

Writers:

Christopher Isherwood (novel), Tom Ford (written for the screen by) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,895 ( 125)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 39 wins & 56 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Firth ... George
Julianne Moore ... Charley
Nicholas Hoult ... Kenny
Matthew Goode ... Jim
Jon Kortajarena ... Carlos
Paulette Lamori Paulette Lamori ... Alva
Ryan Simpkins ... Jennifer Strunk
Ginnifer Goodwin ... Mrs. Strunk
Teddy Sears ... Mr. Strunk
Paul Butler Paul Butler ... Christopher Strunk
Aaron Sanders ... Tom Strunk
Aline Weber Aline Weber ... Lois
Keri Lynn Pratt ... Blonde Secretary
Jenna Gavigan ... Other Secretary #1
Alicia Carr ... Other Secretary #2
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Storyline

It's November 30, 1962. Native Brit George Falconer, an English professor at a Los Angeles area college, is finding it difficult to cope with life. Jim, his personal partner of sixteen years, died in a car accident eight months earlier when he was visiting with family. Jim's family were not going to tell George of the death or accident, let alone allow him to attend the funeral. This day, George has decided to get his affairs in order before he will commit suicide that evening. As he routinely and fastidiously prepares for the suicide and post suicide, George reminisces about his life with Jim. But George spends this day with various people, who see a man sadder than usual and who affect his own thoughts about what he is going to do. Those people include Carlos, a Spanish immigrant/aspiring actor/gigolo recently arrived in Los Angeles; Charley, his best friend who he knew from England, she who is a drama queen of a woman who romantically desires her best friend despite his sexual ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some disturbing images and nudity/sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The glass-and-wood home that George and Jim shared is The Schaffer Residence, a real house built in 1949, in Glendale, California, by mid-century Modernist architect John Lautner. See more »

Goofs

The water carafe in the bedroom is made by Danish Rosendahl, and was introduced in the late 1990s. See more »

Quotes

George: For the first time in my life I can't see my future. Every day goes by in a haze, but today I have decided will be different.
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Connections

Featured in The Jay Leno Show: Episode #1.81 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Moon Over Manhattan
Composed by Robert Etoll
Courtesy of Megatrax Music
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User Reviews

Colin Firth and Julianne Moore shine (as usual) in Tom Ford's brilliant directorial debut
21 January 2010 | by Benedict_CumberbatchSee all my reviews

Tom Ford, you surprised me. I don't really follow the fashion world too closely at all, so although I naturally knew his name, I wasn't familiar with his creations. I haven't read the Christopher Isherwood novel (yet), so Colin Firth and Julianne Moore were the ones who actually got me excited for this project. And I wasn't disappointed – it actually exceeded all my expectations, and alongside Jane Campion's "Bright Star" (which unfortunately is being almost completely overlooked this awards season), it's the most poetic 2009 film I have seen so far.

Firth, always elegant and fascinating, plays George Falconer, a British professor in 1960's Los Angeles trying to cope with the death of his long-term partner, Jim (Matthew Goode). It's been eight months since Jim's death, and George decided to end his life by the end of the day – and it's this day we see in this admirable film. George spends time with his best friend Charley (the always wonderful Julianne Moore), with whom he had something in the past (and still has hopes of winning him over again), and now is an unhappy divorcée. A young pupil, Kenny (Nicholas Hoult, who has grown up a lot since "About a Boy" and "The Weather Man"), who clearly is infatuated with George, harasses him until he finally gives him the attention he craves. These two different encounters will be decisive for George. As sad as the overall tone and the theme of mourning can be, "A Single Man" is by no means depressing. Ford uses and abuses of "artsy", but very efficient and intriguing camera angles, and a classy score by Polish composer Abel Korzeniowski. Eyes, lips are shown in evidence throughout the film, and naturally, the costumes are all superb.

George's long day's journey reminds me a lot of Virginia Woolf's classic "Mrs. Dalloway". Marleen Gorris was able to do a correct but somewhat cold adaptation of Woolf's novel in 1997 (scripted by Woolf scholar and talented actress Eileen Atkins, featuring the magnificent Vanessa Redgrave in the title role), but I thought she wasn't much to blame for the film's coldness since that's one of the most complex novels to be translated to the screen. After seeing "A Single Man", I even dare to say Tom Ford could do an interesting and very personal adaptation of "Mrs. Dalloway". Also, this is one of the sexiest films since Alfonso Cuaron's "Y Tu Mama Tambien" (2001) and Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Dreamers" (2003), and Nicholas Hoult's incandescent presence has a lot to do with that. He gives an efficient, brave performance for an actor his age, and although I'm sure Jamie Bell ("Billy Elliot"), who was the first choice for the role, would've been terrific, Hoult doesn't disappoint. It's not every day we're given a film with such emotional intensity and exuberant sensuality, and "A Single Man" proves that Tom Ford is certainly a promising director, having given us not just a great first film, but one also one of the year's finest and most unusual creations. A film to be felt and celebrated, and I can't wait for the DVD - it's a keeper. 10/10.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site [France]

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

5 February 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Single Man See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$217,332, 13 December 2009

Gross USA:

$9,176,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$24,964,890
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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