That you get a call bearing news that your lover has been killed in a car accident. You want to rush to see him even though he's dead. But you can't--his family has banned you from the funeral.
And so begins the plot of Tom Ford's A Single Man. I was not expecting to like this film as much as I did, given the high expectations for a movie based on one of Chris Isherwoods novels. Also, I was biased against Mr. Ford because of his fashion background--I thought that was all he had to offer.
However, it turns out that Mr. Ford, according to Wikipedia, has had his own hand at acting after graduating from the New School with a degree in: architechture. Tom Ford's varied path (rescues Gucci--infuses YSL--gets his own line--establishes Fade to Black--his own production company) leading to his directorial debut makes him worthy as being crowned the world's next Leonardo da Vinci. He is the ultimate renaissance man.
Although one of my friends felt disappointed after seeing the film because she felt it was style over the substance of the book, having not read the it, I could taste, feel, and touch Colin Firth's sense of lost and the burden. The anger and desperation of not being able to be open about loss because his relationship with Jim isn't accepted, even in swingin' 60s Los Angeles, is palpable and excruciating. Julianne Moore paints the screen with rays of light in her performance as Charlie, George's closest friend. And even if it is style over substance, the style is oh soooooo wonderful, making me wish that when I grow up, I could live in a house like Charlie's or George's.
Oh, and let me NOT forget Nicholas Hoult, whom I had not seen since he starred as a young boy, opposite Hugh Grant in About a Boy. I had no idea it was him until I watched the making-of dvd and saw his name as the man who played Kenny. Had no idea it was a brit playing Kenny, either!
A Single Man is like listening to Maria Callas sing Madame Butterfly. Beautiful, lyrical, ripping your heart out, all at the same time.