'A Single Man' Movie ReviewsControversial fashion designer Tom Ford has been called a lot of things over the course of his long career. But until now, "movie director" wasn't one of them.

That's about to change, though, as Ford's freshman effort behind the camera, 'A Single Man,' opens in select locations tomorrow. 'Single Man' tells the story of a gay professor (played by Colin Firth) grappling with the death of his lover, as well as changing times, in the Southern California of the 1960s. Some would say we've come a long way since then, but the question of the moment is, how far has Tom Ford come since his days as Gucci's head honcho?

So far, the reaction from critics is mixed, but, like the little black dress, one thing everyone can agree upon is the power of Firth's performance. But don't take our word for it; slip into these reviews yourself and try them on for size. 'A Single Man' Movie ReviewsControversial fashion designer Tom Ford has been called a lot of things over the course of his long career. But until now, "movie director" wasn't one of them.

That's about to change, though, as Ford's freshman effort behind the camera, 'A Single Man,' opens in select locations tomorrow. 'Single Man' tells the story of a gay professor (played by Colin Firth) grappling with the death of his lover, as well as changing times, in the Southern California of the 1960s. Some would say we've come a long way since then, but the question of the moment is, how far has Tom Ford come since his days as Gucci's head honcho?

So far, the reaction from critics is mixed, but, like the little black dress, one thing everyone can agree upon is the power of Firth's performance. But don't take our word for it; slip into these reviews yourself and try them on for size.

Entertainment Weekly: "'A Single Man' is suffused with beauty -- it's a movie conceived in a swoon. It's based on a 1964 novel by Christopher Isherwood, who wrote tales of liberated love in a pre-liberated era, and as we watch, something richly emotional and ironic happens: Since the film is set in a time when a man like George had to "pass," almost invisibly, through his life, all of his romantic feelings are forced to flower, exclusively and luxuriously, inside him."

Variety: "Ford's largely delicate touch reps a pleasant surprise, especially given his only filmmaking experience hitherto has been overseeing advertising campaigns for Gucci and his own current, self-named line of fashion products. Clearly this is material close to his heart, and the empathy shines through."

Rolling Stone: "Uncanny at showing the heart crumbling under George's elegant exterior, [Firth] gives the performance of his career. Ford is a true visionary, but it's his humanity that gives the love story a ravishing, bruised grandeur."

The Hollywood Reporter: "In contrast to Firth's underplaying, the directing has its overblown, operatic soul. Ford is unafraid of such cringe-worthy moments as playing an opera solo over a suicide attempt or having a nattily dressed symbolic figure in Tom Ford Menswear give the kiss of death to the recently departed."

Newsweek: "The movie has a hushed, sensual intensity and formal elegance that leaves no doubt Ford knows what he's doing behind the camera. 'A Single Man,' as you might expect, is beautiful to look at-too beautiful, in fact. Ford's devotion to style can become a distraction."

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USA Today: "Moments of grace and clarity are rare and few, as we're elegantly reminded in 'A Single Man.' And so are clear-eyed and graceful portrayals like Colin Firth's in this somber adaptation of a Christopher Isherwood short story."

Time: "Ford is also attentive to the varieties of Southern California sunlight, which lends 'A Single Man' an orangey warmth to offset the bleakness in George's frayed heart. For a gentle man who's lost his love, solitude has become a life sentence that simply must end. Firth makes that ache subtly, splendidly visible."

Salon: "All movies are art-directed to one degree or another. But 'A Single Man,' un film de Tom Ford, is all art and no direction -- it's a picture made up of visual choices with almost no filmmaking sandwiched between."
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