A Single Man (2009) - Drama, Romance

Hohum Score



An English professor, one year after the sudden death of his boyfriend, is unable to cope with his typical days in 1960s Los Angeles.

IMDB: 7.6
Director: Tom Ford
Stars: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore
Length: 99 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 53 out of 269 found boring (19.7%)

One-line Reviews (205)

Fascinating character study with a superb performance by Colin Firth thanks to a very well written script.

a rather stunning debut .

The chemistry between Firth and Julianne Moore is one of the more enjoyable aspects of the film, as also Julianne Moore's performance itself.

Aside from the breathtaking works by Firth and Moore, the cinematography stands out as brilliant piece of cinema style.

This film could have been so good and so meaningful, instead it left me feeling empty and questioning the message.

Let the soul's torments unfold in traditional dull-gray tones, it's no need to stress suffering with strokes of gloss and decorative theatricality.

I've followed Colin Firth career from the very beginning "Tumbledown", "Another Country", "Apartment Zero" where he creates a character never seen on the screen before or since, "Pride and Prejudice" where he reinvented D'Arcy's character, "Fever Pitch" where he showed a new face in riveting tragicomic strokes.

Firth, always elegant and fascinating, plays George Falconer, a British professor in 1960's Los Angeles trying to cope with the death of his long-term partner, Jim (Matthew Goode).

There are numerous flashbacks in the film to his gay relationship which are great, and enjoyable.

Fascinating, thought provoking and brilliant.

intriguing and beautiful .

At times, I felt as though I needed some breathing apparatus, at others, I was bored.

Colin is breathtaking as he wisely and consciously acts the scene, not sounding patronizing or too obvious for his students to doubt over his sexuality.

My main criticism is mostly in the sense that the story can be dull at times, very very slow and although Firth never suffers from this, he certainly doesn't gain from the speed.

Colin Firth, Julianne Moore and Matthew Goode perform wonderfully, as do the actors playing all minor characters in the story, but the directing is so heavy-handed that the story becomes a bit hard to follow.

The problem: it's visually so flawless that it's dull.

But the stunning shots (over-saturated color) and overflowing slow-motions do imitate a tone of Wang Kai-Wei.

Cinematography is interesting in that Ford & Cinematographer Eduard Grau's decided to play with the color saturation, often dun-&-dreary color scheme will suddenly morph in a single shot to a warmer palette & different colors schemes.. The story becomes the story of a sad single day in the character's life & his reactions to that grief & sadness.

In spite of the absorbing detail revealed in this slow-moving film, it all doesn't seem to add up to much of a point.

It is one of the rarest, most riveting and best written and directed movies ever made in America!

He has created something that is visually stunning, atmospherically tense and emotionally engaging.

Boring, uninteresting, with nothing really to say, and I forget to notice the set design which has so much effort put into it as a result!

Grief is dull if prolonged, and in life as well as in film, it needs to be punctuated by something, anything, else.

His performance virtually carries the movie out of a slightly arty, perhaps pretentious mawkishness and fills it with humanity.

One of the most pointless 90 minutes I've had .. .

His work and understanding to the subject is so fascinating that I was left inspired when the screening came to an end.

The writing is tedious, the direction totally interested in how good looking the background is, and the acting ( there is an excuse in the obvious lack of direction) is mundane.

It might be of some note that he was a former editor and photographer at Vanity Fair, and it comes through that a lot of his images, his focusing on eyes and faces for long stretches, or out-of-focus shots or that repetitive scene of the man naked in water, show this flamboyance of style.

Sequences like this break up the intense narrative, allowing Ford to create an experience akin to flipping through a retrospective coffee table book.

But mostly Ford and his fellow screenwriter David Scearce prefer to invent new characters, reconceive existing ones and add unnecessary layers (such as amusing but superfluous suicide rehearsals or the ponderous, lingering presentation of Firth's offputting suburban neighbors and their children).

Colin Firth is engaging as the lost love who can't cope with the world without his mate.

Spawning a homosexual colleague who notices that his professor shares the same sexual preference and a Mexican who originally tries to get a free bottle of whiskey are unnecessary, unrealistic and a bit of cliché.

Firth and Ford are stunning.

Even Colin Firth sometimes stands no chance, fusing into the background like a bland aging model.

Ford's intense close-ups of portions of people's faces while Firth stares hard at them are most effective, and contribute greatly to the mood.

It is an incredible, admirably subtle performance, in which Firth perfectly captures every gesture, every restrained emotion, and truly delivers a fascinating character study worthy of the greatest actors.

Ford's background in design is evident in the stunning visuals, and an almost subliminal vein of sensuality that has both nothing and everything to do with sexuality runs throughout the course of this piece.

Instead of a playful, carefree scene of splashing, we see only choppy waves and distant figures, and before we can really see what's going on Firth is being dragged back on shore with a gash in his head.

Otherwise, one may find what was unappealing to me very entertaining.

While the contemporary shooting locations and angles can at times become tiresome, the true genius is in Ford, Grau and Phillip's ability to simply linger on George's pain.

The music alternates between plaintive viola and chamber scores to evocative period music.

A fascinating example of a film of a book one likes and which I had recently re-read.

Some have accused it of being dull and, while I don't totally agree, I can understand where they are coming from because it is a film where a lot of time seems to be spent going almost nowhere in terms of narrative flow.

Boring and slow .

I felt dead and empty for the duration.

The film is just visually stunning.

the precept of engaging with life's beauty as one wakes up to knowingly live your final day alive, allows the contrast of despair and death with life and passion, all wrapping up with redemption.

As George goes through his day there are flashes of brightness that break through the dull colourings of the rest of the film.

Its a largely predictable movie, too, and the characters and their relationships aren't incredibly well developed.

A Stunning and Impressive Motion Picture .

the medium-heft clout of starring Colin firth and Julianne Moore do not rescue from the shallows into attention-grasping depth the skimpy, amateurish, junior-school, and ultimately fashion-world-redolent cliché plot, which splashes around trying to justify itself , never quite hitting the mark of substantial.

It is a deeply moving drama, heavily accented with sorrow and depression, yet delicately light and compelling from start to finish.


What a bore!.

Overly slow...

Ford and Grau together create one of the most eye popping and visually stunning films of the year, dare I say the decade.

A Boring Man.

Boring empty rather coy movie .

This film is about an eventful day of an English professor's life, after the unexpected and tragic death of his boyfriend.

beautiful and slow .

The story is slow and for such a short running time really has to cram everything in, although any longer and I think most would be sick of it.

I was quite surprised after viewing this film, Colin Firth was brilliantly cast as George and Nicholas Hoult was breathtaking as Kenny.

On the whole, the viewer will be visually stimulated by A Single Man, but left cold by the wooden, uninteresting acting.

Compelling Portrait .

The present doesn't even develop either, it's just a passing of one boring encounter to the next.

The fact that this was Tom Ford's first outing as a director and he financed the entire film himself is incredible and amazing and he should be applauded and celebrated for creating something so utterly magical and compelling.

Herself guarded by a facade of makeup and a contrived New England accent, she is a prisoner in her own sort of polite barrier.

Proving that sometimes great things come from the most unexpected sources, A Single Man is an admirable achievement: utterly gorgeous, moving and driven by an astounding central performance.

The cinematography is simply stunning - exquisite images and sequences of movement, beautiful contrasts of monochromatic and vibrant colors, coupled with excellent acting and enchanting music make this movie a pleasure to watch.

And last but certainly not least, Julianne Moore, brilliant as always, playing a complexly tragic lover so wonderfully engaging despite having very little screen time.

Memories of his time spent with his deceased lover, on the other hand, are presented in stark black-and-white, beautiful memories but deadly and dreary to dwell on.

Come on this is a borefest.

The thing that weighs the film down is the fact that the storytelling is dry and boring with no new insights on the issues of grief except for the fact that it presents it through the eyes of a homosexual.

The brightening of emotionally charged objects is a particularly innovative and enjoyable touch.

Everyone in it is physically stunning, occasionally to the point of distraction as I'm not sure they made men as waifishly thin as the Prada-ad model-gaunt liquor-store parking lot boy in cuffed jeans George runs into.

There are many beautiful moments, and the whole tone and intent of the narrative plot is stunning, necessary stuff.

Don't waste time or money seeing this.

Unbelievably visually beautiful and utterly empty in every other respect.

It is a self-indulgent tear-jerker that goes nowhere good.

In the case of Tom Ford, however, the choice is a strange and fascinating one, given that he's best known as a fashion designer and his most significant contribution to the movies prior to stepping behind the camera was taking care of Daniel Craig's outfits for Quantum of Solace.

The way he behaved when relaxed and the way he changed completely when in the company of his friend or companion was breathtaking.

a fascinating and sad screenplay, a harrowing lead, muddled direction .

A stunning outing for Tom Ford.

Definitely worth watching.

The storytelling is generally reserved and mature, but straightforward to a fault, packing shopworn scenarios and relationship dynamics that, while successful enough on their own merit, fail to elevate the material beyond each inherent cliché.

Tom Ford's aesthetic eye is clearly visible throughout, as the movie is visually stunning (though a lot of that credit also has to go to production manager Dan Bishop and dp Eduard Grau).

This was a pathetic, boring, and dehumanizing movie.

whatever era one lives in there are always ob-jet, furniture pictures etc from previous era's hand me downs etc. In its favour the film looked nice Tedious, I wished he would top himself so I could get out of the cinema.

This movies unique perspective on life was compelling, and so beautifully shot that i hope Tom Ford is a stayer in the movie business.

In the beginning we learn that he has suffered a tragedy, and if you've ever experienced something life-shattering like that, you know that the world becomes bland to you.

About how even the most educated and urbane of men, like Professor George Falconer, can quite literally find the loss of their life partner unbearable.

My what a dreadful waste of time.

We witness stunning camerawork that is well-framed throughout.

One of those "let's break out of the monotony of our lives and do something crazy" moments, that had me wondering if the film weren't in fact, just as trite as I had imagined at my most skeptical moments.

Like this complete waste of time.

Two general classes of film are worth watching in my estimation.

If you bore easily, then this isn't the film for you.

One of the most pointless 90 minutes I've had since I last watched a Stoke City game.

A boring, depressing film .

Ford uses and abuses of "artsy", but very efficient and intriguing camera angles, and a classy score by Polish composer Abel Korzeniowski.

The man was boring and boring and then just a little more boring.

For one thing, it paints an unbearable portrait of grief.

Tom Ford, who apparently stake everything on aesthetics, should have been as demanding regarding his story, which is ultimately shallow and feels empty.

Beautifully directed, acted, and written, A Single Man is one of a very few compelling films I've seen in a while.

The entire movie is de-saturated and drained of color, to emphasize George's dreary existence.

It is slow paced.

The "next best thing" that makes this movie so enjoyable is, no doubt, Colin Firth.


As he draws closer to what he expects to be his final moments, he becomes more immersed in memories of his past with Jim.

Boring .

A Single Man reminds all of us of this in a beautiful, compelling and ultimately surprising way.

It is overly still and it moves at an slow pace that does hurt it at times.

He is blind to it because of his pain, but the whole time he is engaging in profound discussions with everyone around him about hope, love and fear.

It just bores itself along, as the pained living lover contemplates suicide.

This film is dull and miserable for the viewers.

It's slow, and measured and at times, it's dull, Ford's film reawakens what's become lately an unfortunately idle idea in cinema: that there is pleasure to be found in looking at handsome people.

Such an unbearable final!

This might not relate to everyone and i guess might be a bit to much for some, but it related to me on a very personal level and Colin Firths performance was stunning.

We shift from the bland texture of normality to over-saturation to frames being splashed with vibrant red or blue.

This drones on without any real purpose.

Yes, it is the same unalterable truth: no matter how hard life is, no matter how it seemed empty, hopeless and is pointless - it is the most valuable gift, tired of which is an ingratitude and unpardonable sin to cast it aside.

Thus, to an extent, 'A Single Man' is expected to dazzle the viewers with its breathtaking visuals.

An Unbearable Portrait of Grief .

Vapid, meaningless, pathetic, disconnected, depressing and utterly boring .

5 would entice you to purchase their product to become beautiful and stunning, Ford entices you to become visually intrigued with the characters.

Tom Ford's debut as a filmmaker is absolutely stunning.

This was one of the worst movies I've seen in a while.

This film is a meditation on melancholia - a painfully slow meditation at that.

Cliché goes for the character as well, why all homosexuals must be portrayed as Englishmen?

What do you call a film with NO story.

Only in flashbacks to his prior life with Jim are frames immersed in sunlight.

The pacing is slow, which gives viewers time to enter the mind of George, to be him and feel his pain.

It started well, a scene in which the lead character hears of the death of his lover and partner of many years, and of how he is set to be excluded from the funeral, was intense and deeply moving.

Artsy, predictable, boring, there was simply no excuse for this thing.

Nevertheless, the references are more literary than imitative, it's just a little difficult to break away Ford's style from his character building, which is why the movie ultimately is more engaging in its poetics than its drama.

Moving, Intense and Captivating.

The colors went from dull to luminous very subtly.

At points in the story, there is dead silence, only the sounds of a real life and we are immersed in his world.

It consists of one boring scene after another of George just talking to someone about something irrelevant and uninteresting.

George's present life has is drab and gray both figuratively and literally.

Worst movie in last 10 years .

Dreadfully boring Gay film with a few glimpses of Men's Bottoms Shock Horror .

Startling changes from Isherwood's book, but still fascinating .

This gripping film comes highly recommended, it is pure escapism, most of the times it makes you forget that you are in a movie theater, which for me is a benchmark of great film making.

But sometimes I get the distinct feeling such films try to portray male heterosexual family life as foolish, contrived, a fraud, etc. The messages I get is, "You don't understand homosexuality because you're too stupid and superficial.

Trying to be objective about this film is about as tough as being caught in the desert and finding a glass of ice water, but in retrospect, the gorgeous performances by Firth and Moore, the intricate photography and the intensely exquisite score by Abel Korzeniowski, A SINGLE MAN is a breathtaking and accurate account of the loss of love from the perspective of a gay man.

Also, the flirtatious bits are a bit silly and quite predictable.

The problem with brooding films is that they lack depth and to be perfectly honest, they become quite boring.

Ford over used slow motion so much that the film was rendered unbearable.

The pace was slow, and it seems every moment of the film was an attempt to create some thought provoking blah blah, with the constant cliché music.

On the one hand, I'm sure this film was engrossing to many.

Be it George's pedantically clean and wonderfully neat home which represents a fusion of traditional comfortable hut and urban apartment with a lot of glass, be it George's meticulous clothing, be it the old-fashioned campus setting that is nostalgically reminiscent of the 1960s - the director was painstakingly aware of the slightest detail and this perfectionism makes the watching really enjoyable.

Details like these are fascinating and and its all brilliantly conveyed, Tom Ford has indeed brought his vision to it, as anyone who saw his "Vanity Fair" Hollywood issue will see.

As a result, rather than carrying the emotional weight that it should, the scene feels languid, heavy-handed, and manipulatory.

For a large part of the beginning the coloring makes it appear darker and duller, while the scenes where the main character was happy were bright and colorful.

The film is slow moving and requires attention from the viewer to become involved with it.

great Colin Firth's role in visually enjoyable images .

He decides to clear his life of its empty remnants and is ready to die.

How a set of stereotypes are forbidding willing individuals to live their lives without fear and how political correctness is shaping a convenient, boring and predictable society.

Both endings feel a little predictable too, though you do need to be paying attention to the early stages of the film in order to get it.

This is one of those movies were ostensibly "nothing happens", and more often than not were forced to frustratingly observe Firth's constant sensual gaze and seemingly indestructible sexual tension, when we'd wish he'd just give himself permission to enjoy life, sex, and the invitations around him.

The color scheme of the film is largely flat, dull, tones, until American fashion designer and first time film director Tom Ford wants us to focus on something which catches Firth's attention like shirtless young men playing tennis, the red lipstick of a secretary, or the color of one of his students blue eyes, by painting them in luminous color.

Most of all, this is a tour de force for Firth and a stunning achievement which is destined to be a highlight of his distinguished career.

However it was too much aesthetic to be fascinating, slightly overdone.

If this review can stop just one more person going through this hour and a half of boredom them I feel rewarded.

Enjoyable if you like that sort of thing .

A strange mix of vulgar vulnerability; a true paper rose fading into the night clutching her beloved bedfellow: a near-empty gin bottle.

Also, it is a fine metaphor for the cunning of acting, where exquisite nuance can meet wild improvisation: I am thinking of the scene he tries to commit suicide in the sleeping bag, arguably the most elegant object in the whole film, where comic understatement has a mannerism and a fierceness that is matched only in the unexpected end.

Mr. Ford drown this movie in stylization, so much so that it becomes unwatchable.

Emotionally engaging.

Colin Firth is totally engrossing as George and Julianne Moore certainly ramps up the glamour as Charlie.

Other than this, however, and the slightly obnoxious repetition of "sir" from the young suitor, this is a mesmerizing film that should prove enjoyable to anyone who has ever loved and grieved.

The conversations were rather boring now and then, with few exceptions.

Tom Ford go find something more interesting and unexpected to do with your money/life.

Fascinating movie, fascinating music too - I had to wait to the very end credits to see who sang that version of "Stormy Weather", its Etta James!

A breathtaking, gorgeous film with an intelligent and very moving portrayal by Colin Firth of a mourning English literature professor with a love of well-tailored suits, living in a minimalistic Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired house designed by his late partner, who died in a terrible car accident eight months ago.

Only in his empty home in the company of Dear Jim could he become a human.

Basically it's a contrived, unexpected plot device ie. event that abruptly and conveniently ends the story, because they couldn't think of a better ending.

Please don't waste your money.

Oh yes, it is captivating and thoroughly enjoyable to watch.

First, the script consists of a succession of very linear anecdotes, it tries to be profound however what emerges is a clear superficiality, the situations, the characters are stuck, and though the film is concise (barely 1h30), you're bored.

Tiresome in its stylishness, the grainy scenes and ubiquitous monochrome of the decor and costumes become as dull as the subject.

I always give films with a slow start a chance in case they have a good ending...

How he produced a performance so heartbreaking and empty at the same time, I will never know.

In a single evocative shot Firth is able to express a range of emotions so potent, real, and engaging that the reason for his grief did not matter.

Personally, I found this film boring and highly pretentious.

Borefest with a terrible ending .

Great Movie but the ending left me wanting, can't tell you why because it would give it away, worth watching.

Why is a contrived character who never grows beyond the temper tantrum stage somehow worthy of sympathy?

The watery and floating fetal-like images were a bit over the top, but easy to overlook given the overall quality of the narrative, the performances and the stunning sets often accompanied by the oppressive October, 1962 hysteria.

Still, as unpredictable as life is, a series of events occur to have him pause and reflect on whether he's making the right decision.

In the background, the Cuban missile crisis is playing itself out, a symbol, it seems, of a world poised on the edge of self-annihilation.

A truly flaw free film with wonderful 1960's costumes and a stunning performance by a leading Actor.

This film is visually stunning.

His character could get closer to others again, even to strangers like the Hispanic James Dean he runs into in a parking lot as they smoke cigarettes, but it's fascinating to see how he flinches or stares blankly at someone, and how he genuinely feels every step of the way.

I am surprised cuz I have no idea he direct movies, not surprised because it is very Tom Ford, their photography is always stunning.

Overall, the movie is excellent and I highly recommend it to everyone.

", Proust was a 19th century French writer who's work is something of an acquired taste (his narrative style was v-e-r-y slow,plus he wrote from the perspective of the ruling class,to the ruling class,with little or no regard for anybody else).

The setting of the film in both time and location is authentic and absorbing.

We spend every scene with his character and what's nice is that he makes very scene intriguing to watch due to his characters crisis.

The one scene where he lets go is done silently and in slow mo (direction!?

However, the ending is contrived.

A serious subject treated as a neighborhood banality .

Colin Firth seems a model preparing for a grand fashion show, he is so self-centred and showing the same face-expression from beginning to end, that he becomes such a bore, and we ask if such a self-centred man could really commune with any human being.

Anyway to some up a very enjoyable film, made the way good films should be made.