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Cultural notebook: A single man

Costume dramas used to announce themselves as such. Now they’re disguised as soap operas, comedy dramas and art films

By Sam Leith   April 2010

Tom Ford’s debut: the cinematic equivalent of wallpaper

I went to see the film A Single Man, the directorial debut of the fashion designer Tom Ford. It wasn’t my first choice, but I was babysitting and it was the only baby-friendly screening that day.

On leaving the cinema, my daughter having slept, discerningly, through the whole thing, I called a friend who knows about films to ask her what she had thought of it.

“I suppose it was good,” she said. “The thing was, though, it resembled nothing so much as a two-hour—”

“Perfume ad!” I interrupted.

“That’s exactly…

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