Last night I wriggled into my Tom Ford tuxedo and watched A Single Man. My lesser half wanted to stay in and snuggle up to a Colin Firth pitcher, and by unaccountable luck this one had turned up in our Netflix delivery that very day. Mr Darcy in horn rims. (It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a Castilian stud with a James Dean haircut, standing in front of a billboard for Psycho somewhere in Santa Monica in 1962.)
Fearing the worst, that — as the trailer portended — the pitcher was going to look like one of Ford’s YSL Opium spots, only with Matthew Goode taking over the Sophie Dahl role, I was a bit late getting to A Single Man. I was proved wrong. Just one of many delights was ID-ing the digs in which Firth’s character George Falconer lives. It’s the 1948 Glendale residence that John Lautner designed as his first post-Wright commission. I wasn’t certain until my newest beneficiary Dame Ellen, who is also my asset-in-the-field for SoCal architecture, confirmed my suspicion in the way that all good espionage now gets done: she googled it. The house is really beautiful, and I suppose that in a better world it would indeed be located in Santa Monica, as the pitcher suggests, and not surrounded by hideous McMansions all imitating various prospects and elevations the Neuschwanstein Castle.
When, back in the eighties, I went with Kurt Wilde and his French masseuse Alexandra (better known for being one of the early daters of Bad Person) to look at the property, we weren’t really able to see much of the interior, which I am elated to say gets well represented in Ford’s pitcher.
And a half-decent pitcher it is, too, despite my initial trepidation. Ford is no chicken — not just any director can get you from Etta James’s “Stormy Weather” to Booker T’s “Green Onions” without an edit. I’ll have to concede, however, that Julianne Moore’s Charlotte gets the best lines: