Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode, Nicholas Hoult, Ginnifer Goodwin, Paulette Lamori

Written and directed by Tom Ford

Arguably the most emotionally powerful novel written by Christopher Isherwood, “A Single Man,” published in 1964, focuses on one day in the life of George Falconer, a British professor living in California who is mourning the death of his long-time partner, Jim.

Now, along comes Tom Ford (pictured at top), a handsome, mischievous and awesomely ambitious native of Austin, Texas. Ford, as you may have heard, migrated to Manhattan at an early age, came to the conclusion one steamy night at Studio 54 that he was gay, went on to become a major force in the world of fashion during his reign at the house of Gucci, and, surprisingly, toyed with the dream of fleshing out Isherwood’s story on film.

That dream, representing the 48-year-old Ford’s directorial debut and reflecting fragments of Isherwood’s own bittersweet life, was recently featured at the 66th Venice Film Festival.  On screen, Colin Firth plays the prof in stiff-upper-lip mourning, Julianne Moore is an alcoholic friend who once slept with him and is more than willing to rekindle their romance even though she is well aware that he is gay, Matthew Goode’s the gone but not forgotten Jim, and Nicholas Hoult—the lad who made Hugh Grant behave like a grown-up in 2002’s “About a Boy”—plays Kenny, a college student who may have a crush on teacher George.

Opens 12/11/09