The aural identity of George in Tom Ford’s "A Single Man"
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Tom Ford’s directorial debut, _A Single Man_ (2009), was widely acclaimed at film festivals across the globe. The film earned him several nominations, including Best Original Score at the Golden Globes, and The Golden Lion at the 66th Venice Film festival where he would also win the Queer Lion. Surprisingly, the critical attention and success of the film has not translated into an outpouring of scholarly attention. Most of the academic articles focusing upon the film, thus far, are in the field of adaptation studies. Articles, like “Tom Ford and His Kind” by Lee Wallace, focus heavily on the film’s relation to Christopher Isherwood's 1964 novel, _A Single Man_, which the film is based upon. Outside of adaptation studies, the other common topic written about is the director himself. His status as a fashion-world, homosexual icon has overshadowed the perception of his film. It appears easier to discuss the director’s own status than to delve into the complex inner workings of the film. The portrayal of George (Colin Firth), a homosexual professor in the late 1960’s, is done with careful consideration of the character’s interior life. The film beautifully communicates the inner pain George suffers after the death of his partner, Jim. George is unable to outwardly speak about his loss and must mourn in isolation. The isolation and disconnect from the world around him is largely communicated though the film’s sound track which is composed by Abel Korzeniowski and Shigeru Umebayashi. The sound track becomes an extension of George’s interiority and speaks for him in a way he does not, and cannot, verbally speak for himself.