12 posts categorized "TOM FORD"

Feb 08 2010
Singular Sensation Comments (3)

My friend Gordon forwarded me this story from the U.K. about Don Bachardy's views of Tom Ford's A Single Man, adapted from the famous Christopher Isherwood novel. Bachardy, Isherwood's lover of many years, loves the film, while others think it too pretty. I thought the prettiness fit perfectly with the story. The piece also argues, in reference to the Ford's insistence his film is not "gay":

"Not since Steven Spielberg directed the slave epic Amistad in 1997 has a director's identity politics been such a part of a film's buzz."

Regardless, the interview with Bachardy is well worth a look—as is A Single Man.

Feb 02 2010
On The List Comments (3)


 Kathryn Bigelow & James Cameron: Oscar's War of the Lenses

The Oscar nominations are out, and while some who had a pretty good shot saw their hopes dashed (Daniel Day-Lewis in Nine for Best Actor; Emily Blunt in The Young Victoria for Best Actress; (500 Days of Summer), Where the Wild Things AreInvictus, Nine, Julie and Julia and my personal choice of A Single Man for Best Picture; Diane Kruger in Inglourious Basterds, Julianne Moore in A Single Man and Marion Cotillard in Nine for Best Supporting Actress; Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story for Best Documentary; A Single Man for Art Direction...it was criticized as too pretty, but apparently it still wasn't pretty enough!; "Cinema Italiano" from Nine and "All is Love" from Where the Wild Things Are for Best Original Song), most of the nominees were unsurprising. In fact, with one exception (Kruger losing her spot to Maggie Gyllenhaal), all of the major acting nominees matched the SAG nominees.

Loved how the collected press applauded for the crowd-pleasing Blind Side noms...it's like American Idol where the best frequently don't win, but the favorites do! (Maybe The Blind Side is this year's Ruben Studdard.) 

Lee_daniels Kathryn Bigelow becomes only the fourth woman ever nominated for a Best Director Oscar (so deserved), and has an excellent chance to become the first to win. Also, Lee Daniels is only the second black man nominated for Best Director (also so deserved; the first was not Spike Lee, but John Singleton). Also re Daniels, I don't have stats on how many out gay people have been nominated for the award, but Rob Marshall comes to mind.

Sandra-bullock-the-blind-side As for nominating 10 films instead of five, it feels like a marketing gimmick to me, especially when only five directors are nominated—it feels like the five films whose helmers were ignored are just honorary mentions with next to no chance of winning. And I didn't find the extra five to be particularly interesting choices, either—they feel like films that should have been in the running but shouldn't have been in the final cut, or, in the case of The Blind Side, they're concessions to commercial juggernauts. (I guess that is this year's Ghost, except Ghost was able to be nominated when there were only five slots, and The Blind Side probably wouldn't have had a shot.)

But the Oscars are the original marketing gimmick gone good, so more power to the movies that benefit from the looser standards.


The full list of nominees follows (and more movie talk is available here), but my guesses right now for the top awards would be: Avatar (but Inglourious Basterds has a real shot and The Hurt Locker is not out of the question), Bigelow, Bridges, Bullock (she's had the momentum, but Streep could still pull it off in the more conservative Oscars), Mo'Nique and Waltz.

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Jan 06 2010
Old School Comments (2)
"A Single Man is about an extremely gay man..." An entertaining if not always tactful (but ultimately positive) review of Tom Ford's film as well as A Serious Man by two Reel Geezers. 
Dec 23 2009
Re-Gaying Comments (6)

The latest clip and stills released from A Single ManIMHO the best or one of the best films of the year—go all the way gay, perhaps to combat the "Weinstein is de-gaying the marketing" meme that's out there.


At a screening for the oppressively dark, charmless, chemistry-free and testosterone-clotted Sherlock Holmes—a movie that in stark contrast to A Single Man has been marketed as being far more gay than it is—I sat next to famed writer and illustrator Anthony Haden-Guest. A woman speaking with him and some other reviewers said to her friend, "Have you seen A Single Man? It's [shakes hand from side to side] a little fashiony for me." I can see how it could be quite literally too fashiony for some, but I found it interesting that the hand gesture and the criticism could also be a thinly veiled way of saying "too gay." (In the same way white people routinely say to each other, when black people aren't around, that they don't want to see a movie that has only black people in it...Yes, they do, too, say that!)


Dec 17 2009
A Single SAG Comments (1)

An ubersexy new clip from A Single Man is just out (see after the jump), just in time for the Screen Actors' Guild nominations (yay, Colin! aw, no Julianne...), which are also after the jump, the only gasp-inducing shocker being the absence of Up in the Air from the ensemble acting category (the equivalent of Best Picture) despite honors for Clooney, Farmiga (who was really great) and Kendrick...

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"I Got Rid Of All My Colin Firth Movies In Case They Consider Them Erotica" Comments (2)

Kurt Iswarienko shoots suave Colin Firth for Manhattan's December 2009 issue. Inside, the A Single Man star, who seems bound for an Oscar nomination, says he's not too invested in this possibility:

"I'm too old to think this is some great new dawn for me. It's not. It will be what it is. Perhaps people will see this movie, or maybe they won't. Perhaps we'll win awards, but maybe we won't. If I had to make a guess, I'd say I will carry on doing what I did before. That's what happened when things felt special in the past, and it's what will happen again."


Balance and reason...so dreammmy!

Of the film's gay content, which has been as analyzed as a kid in ex-gay therapy, Firth says:

"You can argue that this movie is about the love that dare not speak its name, but that sounds too banal. It's really about sexual feeling; it's about isolation; it's about intimacy; it's about loss. Why differentiate between feeling and gay feeling? It's all human feeling."

More images after the jump...and caution: That man can wear a sweater...

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Dec 15 2009
Golden Globes: Starfucking With An Accent! Comments (2)


The Golden Globes are always fun as quasi-Oscar predictors, and because the Hollywood Foreign Press is unabashedly pro-star. They love giving nominations (and even awards) to big names not known for their acting chops, especially when those big names stretch ever so slightly. (Case in point: Madonna was nominated for and won a Globe, though went on not to even get an Oscar nomination.)

This is why someone like Julia Roberts gets nominated for something like Duplicity (um, exactly!) and why they adore giving wins to newcomers whose shows have made a big splash (remembering Keri Russell winning for Felicity, America Ferrera, etc.)

The year's biggest shock for me was the failure of Mariah Carey to get a nomination. She was never, ever Oscar-nomination-bound, not really, but the Globes seemed a possibility for her. Guess her international profile isn't as big as her profile. (This is a breast joke, not a fat joke, and as such is an expression of my civility toward a figure—in both senses—I dislike but whom did well in a movie that was my first or second fave of 2009.)

The complete list of Golden Globes nominations—my comments, if any, follow each category...

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Dec 08 2009
Strength In Numbers Comments (7)


Tom Ford opens up.

Yesterday, I was invited to the press day for A Single Man (official site) Tom Ford's singularly satisfying adaptation of the classic Christopher Isherwood novel about a man reacting to the sudden loss of his lover, set in L.A. in 1962. I arrived, got my notes in the hospitality suite at the Ritz Carlton on Central Park South and wound up with a front-row seat downstairs. Held in a room off the bar, passing tourists could peek in through the windows to see actors Nicholas Hoult (he of About a Boy fame), Colin Firth and Julianne Moore as well as the director fielding a strange mish-mosh of questions from the assembled media.

L TO R, TOP TO BOTTOM: Colin Firth on the gay aspect of the film, Firth on the relevance of showing a happy gay couple in a movie, Nicholas Hoult on if Kenny is gay, Hoult on the significance of gay identity in the film. 

I was sandwiched between an interesting older woman (Ford was, at one point, called a "gay man of a certain age" to his face) from HuffingtonPost who was using an antique tape recorder and a younger Polish woman with serious film questions who'd snatched so many of the free cookies that she almost had to offer me one when I happened to glance at her stash.


Ford and Firth, sharp-dressed men (of a certain age)

Questions ranged from the banal ("Julianne, have you picked up any fun makeup tips while making movies over the years?") to the strangulated (a strange request of Firth to connect his character to Harvey Milk since the films are set in basically the same era—which they aren't), but one thing that stood out for me was how reluctant the men were to concede that this is a uniquely gay story, albeit one readily absorbable by a non-gay audience. Instead, it was repeated a few times that George is gay but the story could be about a straight man...and this just is not true.

L TO R, TOP TO BOTTOM: Tom Ford on Gore Vidal, his Oscar buzz and his film's gay role models, Ford on Rupert Everett's advice to actors to stay closeted, Ford on his seriousness about directing, Julianne Moore on the unique relationship between gay men and their female friends.

I do think much of this comes from a marketing directive. However, the fact that such a marketing consideration exists proves that "gay" really does still matter, something the decidedly liberal and enlightened principals seemed to want to disbelieve. The main disconnect is those who don't want this to be a gay film seem to define that as a film in which the character or characters are struggling with being gay. For me, a film can be gay (and also potentially universal) even if—or perhaps especially if—the characters are content with their sexualities.


I don't overly fault them for their opinions, or even the studio for attempting to de-gay the film in its marketing because what matters most is the fact that the film itself is unflinching, a masterpiece really. But I still find it endlessly fascinating that a movie with a strong theme about the invisibility of its gay characters is making its own gayness invisible as a means of getting by in an unaccepting world—47 years after the supposedly ancient time in which it's set.

I asked Ford about the invisibility theme. He seemed to like my question (after initially politely asking someone near me to not take his picture while he was talking):

Nicholas Hoult was gorgeous and fresh and articulate beyond his years, Colin Firth was handsome and dry-witted and had such a commanding presence, Tom Ford was charmingly gregarious and bore no resemblance to the menacingly macho images we've been force-fed and Julianne Moore was ravishingly beautiful and hilarious—she really seems to not sweat the small stuff, which made a stern request that we not photograph her and a sudden softening of the lights seem silly and unnecessary.

Be sure to see A Single Man when it opens. Here is my original review. Tons more video and transcriptions of all the best quotes after the jump, including Firth on whether Ford called him fat and Ford being asked if Jon Hamm makes a voice cameo in the film...

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Nov 24 2009
Every Single, Solitary Thing: A Review Of A Single Man Comments (12)


I dreamt of terrorism last night. In my dream, I was in the elevator where I work, but there was no light in the elevator. This has happened to me once before, when an after-hours conductor beckoned me to get on before I realized there was no illumination. The sensation of being in pitch blackness as you're descending is completely disorienting; it was like my breathless descent on the similarly lightless stairs from the same building the day of a big black-out a few years back—it felt like being a sentient creature with no body, no sense of where I began or ended.

The rest of the dream was more literal, about a giant building across the street from where I work being demolished by a car bomb. I could see police in cars screaming for everyone to evacuate the sidewalks. I walked home and yet another bomb went off in the Hudson, leading to surprisingly speedy "tourrorism," masses of people taking souvenir pictures of the destruction.

2009asinglemanmain What caused this paranoid dream was a sliver of the film A Single Man, directed, co-written and co-produced by designing man Tom Ford, which I saw at a screening last night. In it, gay college professor George Falconer (Colin Firth), who is nearly enveloped in grief after the unexpected death of his partner Jim (Matthew Goode) in a car crash far from their Los Angeles home, lectures his class on the ways in which fear is used by corporations and governments to control our lives. This shockingly modern theme was not out of place in the film despite its early '60s setting, and it had caused me to dream up a fear that most Americans have been encouraged to have, and that most New Yorkers have based on the likelihood that something like this will happen again.

Single-man-trailer My brain had taken the opposite message of the character's speech and of the film itself; maybe the fear that's harder to overcome than the propaganda fed to us by potential oppressors is the fear we dream up ourselves. We can be our own worst enemies. Certainly George Falconer must overcome himself more so than any other dreadful barrier as he sets out to determine where a sentient being like he begins and ends in a world recently clouded by darkness.

George lives in a cozy L.A. suburb, sticking out like a sore thumb among paired-off heterosexuals and their inquisitive children. His sexuality is an open secret, yet still a secret. Curiously, he lives in a modern glass house designed by his late partner, an architect, making his external life more transparent than his internal one.

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Nov 10 2009
A Firth Time For Everything Comments (2)

A single clip from A Single Man...Oscars for all?