Movie Monday was resurrected last night with the stunning Tom Ford creation, A Single Man. Now, when I say stunning, I mean visually, and when I say creation, I don't mean movie. Because this wasn't so much a movie as much as it was a--- I don't know-- painting? photograph? vintage gown?
A Single Man was a chance for Tom Ford to visually create a world that includes all of the 'things he likes' for lack of a better phrase. It would be like me making a film about exposed brick walls, jars of white peonies, Brooklyn wine bars, Jimmy Stewart films, crackling fireplaces, and vats of salty olives. All the women would be very smart in turtleneck dresses with black tights and massive gold bracelets, and the men would all be funny. A bit indulgent, don't you think?
For his film, Tom Ford chose thin black ties, freshly pressed oxford dress shirts, square silver cuff links, and gin martinis. He also bowed toward beauty like no one has before. Super models played the extras, all the men had crazy tans and chiseled abs. The women were manicured into magazine cut outs who smoked pink cigarettes in their candy colored lips.
Mr. Ford also remained somewhat non-specific and general in his telling. Although based on a 1964 novel by the same title, Ford's adaptation wasn't deeply personal or too intimate, like we might expect a film-about-a-gay-professor-attempting-suicide-upon-the-death-of-his-young-and-charismatic-love to be. The film was a symphony, not a folk tune. This might help explain why it didn't feel like a movie to me-- it was removed, like how paintings are removed-- it was still, hushed, subdued.
Julianne Moore completely stole the film, you have to agree. She was the red paint, the splash of color and noise. I am completely obsessed with her 60s eyeliner and redheaded up-do. (Can we please bring black coal back into rotation?--I've asked before and I'm asking again.) While George's home was rich brown and grey and ivory, Charley's home was decorated with orange trees, silk upholstery, and a peach colored crescent shaped sofa. In fact, I saw this film for one scene, as described in Vogue magazine as 'iconic 60s perfection'--- Julianne Moore and Colin Firth doing the twist. And, yes, it was well worth the other 100 minutes of viewing. As were the Gatsby eyes. (If you know what I'm referring to, you get a gold star.)
Did I love the movie? Well, no. Alison, Katie, and I kind of nodded afterwards, agreeing that we 'got it', that we understood what it was supposed to be, who it was for. (It was for Luke Foss, duh.) It was a absolutely stunning film, we cannot argue that. But after coming to these somewhat broad conclusions we moved right along, back into our silly lives on the C train to Brooklyn.
See it. But please don't take this film seriously. Like is too short to brood over starched collars and square cuff links. Just have a gimlet and a very Merry Christmas. :)