A touching, heartwarming film set in the halcyon days of 60s California. Colin Firth plays a closetted man who has recently lost his long term lover, and is desperately trying to mask his misery with the rigid routine he uses to maintain order. His best friend, played by Julianne Moore, is an equally damaged yet lovely person, helping in part to see him through his darkest times.

Exploring the issue of an aching loss, where even those closest to you dismiss its importance, is the political core of the film. The film is shot with a glossy, nostalgic air, using the palate to change the colour saturation depending on the protagonists mood. This technique, along with a restrained, tight lipped performance from Firth, makes for a unique experience.

Plot wise, it all goes about where you’d expect it to, but it’s done with such grace and remarkable craft that it’s easy to forgive those more conventional genre tropes. It is perhaps all the more remarkable that an icon of the fashion industry has demonstrated with this remarkable first film that even the most carefully crafted facade does nothing to hide a wretched pain within, and that by relaxing these rigid disciplines that one can again find solace.