A Single Man

Current mood:  chipper
Category: Movies, TV, Celebrities


I was heartened this morning by the news that one of my favorite actors in the world, Colin Firth has been nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of a gay man learning to cope with the death of his lover in Tom Ford’s movie, A Single Man based on the 1964 novel by Christopher Isherwood.Though the movie has no other significant nominations, it is encouraging to me that an actor of Firth’s stature considers this one of his best film roles and a part that he wanted so much, he was willing to physically transform himself for it. It’s interesting, he notes, that this role came to him after a huge body of work.

It’s also encouraging that his peers within the ranks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated him at a time when gay Hollywood is still battling straight Hollywood for equality.

Though I hope Firth wins, I suspect it’s Jeff Bridges’s year and I wouldn’t mind that at all. I am pleased that we have such a rich pool of talent this year in movies both serious-minded and funny.

A small corner–no, a large part–of my heart hopes Colin Firth wins, although I am a huge fan of Jeff Bridges. I hope Colin Firth is proud and pleased with his nomination. I hope he continues to pick the roles that call him. He’s never struck me as being a money-grabber. He’s always struck me as being an actor to lead with his heart.

He recently gave an interview where he talked about the significance of Isherwood’s book. A Single Man, considered to be one of the earliest and best front-runners for the gay lib movement, is still a searing book to read, perhaps because its core issues remain to this day.

Firth’s role in the movie focuses on a professor’s life after the death of his partner. I was impressed that this notion of a man–not necessarily a gay man’s–emotional life is the subject of intense scrutiny in the movie.

Ford has not shied away from the heart of the book.

Firth has won a legion of new fans for his work. I hope he and Tom Ford team up again.
Regardless of what happens on Oscar night, I hope Ford comes away with the idea of telling more significant stories of GLBT life. We need all the help and recognition we can get.
Both of these men stepped way out of their comfort zone for A Single Man. yes, Isherwood deserves nothing less. But Tom Ford, stepping away from his flashy career as a fashion designer to direct this labor of love took a huge risk, as did Firth, for trusting Ford with his ‘image.’

With California battling over the issue of gay marriage and the rest of the world still struggling with the notion of gay rights more than forty years after Isherwood wrote his novel, it is a step in the right direction that a love story, not a war movie, should lead the fight.

I wonder if Firth and Ford can know how much they sincerely achieved through their passion, their creativity…through love alone?

Aloha oe,


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By Keali’i Reichel
Release date: 2003-12-09

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