Saturday, 20 February 2010

A single man

We went to see the new film A single man at the Tyneside Cinema today. Based on a book by Christopher Isherwood and directed by fashion designer Tom Ford, it's a melancholy story set in  1962 about a middle-aged gay man about to take his own life after the death of his partner in an accident. The story follows him through the day when he has planned to kill himself.

Having heard of Isherwood in connection with the brilliant film Cabaret, I remember browsing the book in a bookshop many years ago but deciding that it was too depressing for my taste. Although the film was sometimes self-consciously "arty", it was beautifully shot, impeccably acted and emotionally quite affecting. The very well-chosen cast including Colin Firth, Julianne Moore and Nicholas Hoult ironically has a Brit playing an American and an American playing a Brit, although you wouldn't know this from the accents. The novel may well have been of only marginal interest to my younger self. I seem to remember it being sexually explicit - the film isn't and (I think) benefits from this. However, the book is certain to be back in print now and, as soon as I've posted this, I'm going to order it via Amazon.

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