With hopes of an Oscar nod, director
Tom Ford's freshman effort A Single Man opens Friday in
The film premiered at the Venice
International Film Festival, where it took home the 3rd
annual Queer Lion award and Colin Firth was named best actor.
Firth stars in Ford's big-screen
adaptation of Christopher Isherwood's 1964 novel of the same name as
professor George Falconer, a gay man struggling with the loss of his
longtime lover, Jim (played by Matthew Goode). George is the
ultimate outsider in 1960s Los Angeles: middle-aged, gay and British.
Playing George, Firth told Variety,
was an opportunity to experience a range of subtle emotions.
“[George] was smart, and the way he
masks his massive despair is poignant,” Firth said. “That
obsession with external perfection is a sign of panic. He has to
control his exterior world because his interior one is chaos. His
precision is all desperate measures.”
Critics have already singled-out
Firth's performance for a possible Academy Award, but whether the
film gets an Oscar nod remains to be seen. The academy has only
nominated two gay-themed films to win its top best movie prize:
Brokeback Mountain and last year's Milk. But neither
film took home the statue.
Fashion designer turned film director
Ford has said the film has a universal message and should not be
confined to a gay niche.
“It's really a film about love and
isolation that I think all of us feel, so it is very universal,”
Ford said at its Venice premiere. “When I see someone who sees the
film and says, 'It's a gay story,' I don't even know what they are
thinking, it just seems to me a human story.”
Firth agreed, saying the movie is “a
love story, and love is love.” “George misses the love of his
life, and that's that. … George is struggling with an awful lot but
not with his homosexuality. There's a lot of dignity in that.”
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