A Single Man ★★★★

This bittersweet film gets another star on a rewatch. It's Colin Firth's best performance in years as stuffy professor George Falconer ('it takes a long time to become George'), who suddenly finds himself bereaved by the sudden death of his partner Jim in a car accident, and finds it difficult to cope until he decides he needs to make a momentous decision.

This being the 1960s he cannot talk openly about it, or even grieve, nor can he seek a leave of absence from his job, or even be allowed to mourn his loss at the funeral ('It's family only', says the cousin who calls him to break the news, without Jim's parents knowing). The scene where Firth has to react to hearing the news on the telephone will break your heart.

Tom Ford's directing debut is beautifully composed and shot, with furnishings, colour, light, sets and costumes all spot on, and all part of an artistic tableaux which complements this adaptation for the screen of the Christopher Isherwood novel. The musical score is also absolutely gorgeous, and packs an emotional punch.

This is the film for which Firth should have won an Oscar, as he is superb, and it has an excellent role for Julianne Moore as the only friend who George can lean on. I can warn you right now, you will have tears by the end of this one.

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