The film. Financed and directed by fashion designer extraordinaire Tom Ford in his directorial debut. Adapted from Christopher Isherwood‘s novel of the same name. I had the privilege of seeing it yesterday afternoon – and make no mistake, it was a privilege indeed to fork over the $10 to do so.
There are a great many reasons why I loved this film: the set design, sumptuous and meticulously executed; the musical score, hauntingly beautiful; the cinematography, hypnotic.
Most of all, however, I loved this film for the performances, most especially Colin Firth‘s. His was, to me, one of the most gut-wrenching, yet beautiful performances I’ve seen in years. (It’s no wonder he’s been nominated for a slew of awards; they are deserved, absolutely.) With his face alone, he conveys such pain, such anguish – and he does so with subtlety and with grace. It’s hard not to take your eyes off him – despite Ford’s best efforts.
Of course, Firth isn’t the only stand-out: Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode and Nicholas Hoult all deliver equally brilliant performances and compliment Firth’s wonderfully. Like Firth, each of them is restrained, thoughtful, delicate. (It’s a welcome change from the Pacino-esque bravado often favoured in Hollywood.)
Make no mistake, however; this is a depressing film. If you see it – and you should – be prepared to spend the rest of your day alone, exhausted and emotionally spent.
However, in the quietude of your misery, with the images replaying themselves in your mind, be prepared to be thankful, as well. For Tom Ford, an artist in the truest sense of the word, has created a thing of beauty. And you were lucky enough to see it.