I’m about two thirds of the way through Austin Wright’s riveting Tony and Susan and growing more and more intrigued to see how Tom Ford is going to bring the book to the screen in Nocturnal Animals. Nocturnal Animals is the title of the book within the book, a thriller that has me, like Susan, in its grips. We’ve talked about the upcoming film starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal set for release on December 9th. The movie’s director, fashion designer Tom Ford, is celebrating a birthday today, his 55th. With A Single Man and now Nocturnal Animals in his pocket, the addition of ‘filmmaker’ to his google profile seems fitting. Maybe next year Tom!
Since Ford’s big day falls on a Saturday this year, A Single Man is our Saturday Matinee. I don’t know about you but I had no idea, none, that the film was based on a book by Christopher Isherwood. In my head Isherwood, the famously gay writer, is so closely linked with the 1930’s via The Berlin Stories—which became Cabaret, among other things—that I never discovered his later work. Isherwood, who taught a class at Cal State LA wrote A Single Man in 1964, a semi-autobiographical novel about the day in the life of a gay English professor in Los Angeles.
The film version stars Colin Firth as George, the college professor mourning the death of his partner. Firth’s performance won him the Best Actor BAFTA with nominations for the Oscar, Golden Globe and SAG awards. AFI awarded the film its top honor—Movie of the Year—saying:
A SINGLE MAN marks the singular and stylish debut of writer-director Tom Ford, whose astoundingly assured transition from fashion to film - from the human body to the human spirit - is a perfect fit for Christopher Isherwood's story of love and loss. As a heartbroken college professor and his lovelorn compatriot, Colin Firth and Julianne Moore offer achingly honest performances that inhabit a perfectly realized 1962 Los Angeles. A SINGLE MAN is a meditation on grief, a sensuous lament, a memento mori that reminds us to love well, to cherish the human encounters that color our lives and to be aware, in the end, that everything is as it should be.Julianne Moore is fantastic as George’s friend Charley, a woman who has more than platonic feelings for George, feelings which George doesn’t return. Nicholas Hoult appears as the sexy, young object of admiration for George, while Matthew Goode is Jim, George’s long-time partner, now deceased.
It’s a must see, not only for the haunting story and the acclaimed performances, but for the exquisite period rendering of Los Angeles, circa 1962 with both the costume and production design bringing the look of sixties Southern California to life. I’m thinking about going on a location hunt to nail down the shooting sites.
A Single Man is available to stream on YouTube, iTunes, Amazon, Vudu and Google Play. As always check your Netflix account.
To be honest, I may not watch A Single Man today. I’m kind of curious to read Isherwood’s book first!
Let’s take a look at the trailer.
Happy Saturday Viewing