Fashion guru Tom Ford was born in Texas in 1961 and turned a struggling family run shoe company, Gucci into one of the most famous luxury brands, he was named by the Times magazine in 2001 as the worlds best designer. A Single Man (2009) is Tom Ford’s first entry into the world of feature film direction. Adapted from Christopher Isherwood’s 1964 semi-autobiographical novel of the same name and set in Los Angeles in 1962 it’s a meticulously detailed account of a day in the life of a bereaved gay man organising his own suicide! Colin Firth, in what I would consider to be his best role to date, plays the central character George Falconer a 58 year-old British exile and University professor of literature. Jim (Matthew Goode), George’s partner of 13 years, has recently died in a car crash while visiting his parents and George turns to his old friend Charley (Julianne Moore) a divorcee, for solace. Whilst grieving the professor encounters a show of friendship from one of his students, a bisexual outsider Kenny (Nicholas Hoult). Ford uses changes in the colour palette, along with a beautiful soundtrack, to reflect mood. The use of a superb architecturally designed house by John Lautner and clothes designed by the director provides a very handsome and stylishly crafted movie. There’s first rate acting from all concerned, especially Colin Firth who won a BAFTA, along with a nomination for an Academy Award, for best actor. If you enjoyed this film I would suggest you follow it up with a look at Visconti’s Death in Venice (1971)
A revisit last weekend to the 2008 Italian gangster/crime drama Gomorrah, an award winning film I first saw in November 2008 as part of a RBC Film Club evening. For those who have not seen it, the film is based on the book by Robert Saviano and deals with the Neopolitan crime syndicate known as Camorra who are based in Naples and Caseta in southern Italy. The movies plot involves five different stories and I reiterate my original thoughts, it’s not always easy to follow, although it does help if you’ve seen it before. It demands patience from the viewer unlike some American gangster movies. Well worth a look though if you haven’t seen it.
J J Abrams is best known for the television series Lost (2004-2010), being director of the feature film Mission: Impossible 3 (2006) and the 2009 feature film reboot of the original Star Trek series, Star Trek. Having never watched either the TV series or any previous movies I was not sure if I could enter this famous franchise at this late juncture. But for me this turned out to be the ideal place to enter the alternative universe. Abrams film starts back at the beginning and gradually introduces the original characters and the plot unfolds in a way that means you do not have to have any prior knowledge. The story involves the Romulan Nero who returns from the future to take revenge on the Federation. Rivals James T Kirk and Spock must forget their differences and stop him from destroying their world (best just watch the film!) Zachary Quinto, who plays Sylar in Heroes, portrays Spock brilliantly but Chris Pine is not so convincing as Kirk. A grand piece of hokas pokas, fun and games in outer space, yes I did enjoy it and look forward to the sequel.