As the Cuban Missile Crisis is playing out, L.A. college professor George Falconer (Colin Firth) is contemplating suicide a few months after losing his partner (Matthew Goode) in a car crash. Christopher Isherwood’s novel broke new ground in the 1960s with its gay subject matter and is treated with respect by fashion icon Tom Ford in his directing debut. Some might complain about the slick surface (beautiful people in perfect clothes moving around in stylish houses and pretty neighborhoods), but Ford lets us know that the dashing Falconer needs to maintain those appearances or fall into the abyss. A moving portrayal of life and despair, anchored by Firth’s exceptional performance.
2009-U.S. 99 min. Color-B/W. Widescreen. Produced by Tom Ford, Chris Weitz, Andrew Miano, Robert Salerno. Directed by Tom Ford. Screenplay: Tom Ford, David Scearce. Novel: Christopher Isherwood. Cinematography: Eduard Grau. Cast: Colin Firth (George Falconer), Julianne Moore (Charley), Nicholas Hoult (Kenny Potter), Matthew Goode, Jon Kortajarena, Paulette Lamori. Voice of Jon Hamm.
BAFTA: Best Actor (Firth). Venice: Best Actor (Firth).
Last word: “I gave [the actors] a lot of leeway because I think one of the things, or well first of all and I don’t really want to talk too much about fashion because it’s very, very different for me in terms of what this was and why I did this and why I hope to keep doing it and was sort of expression it was but there is a certain similarity in that fashion it is a more collaborative field than one might think. You get used to working with [others]. You have to have an idea. You have to have a vision. You have to communicate that to a team of people to help you realize that vision and you have to create an environment that allows those people to give the very best that they can give.” (Ford, Collider)