The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
on entertainment and media

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Toronto shocker: Tom Ford admits to being 'ecstatic' to work with Harvey Weinstein

September 15, 2009 | 12:23 pm

Harvey Weinstein is a man with a love for film and for fashion, so it's not surprising that his twin passions have finally joined forces with the news that the Weinstein Co. has plunked down $1 million plus for the U.S. and German rights to "A Single Man," an adaptation of the Christopher Isherwood novel directed by high-fashion icon Tom Ford. The film, which has been getting glowing reviews out of both the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals, stars Colin Firth as a 1950's-era gay British college professor attempting to cope with the death of his lover.

Tomford With Firth having won best actor honors in Venice, the film is expected to be an instant Oscar contender for the Weinsteins, who outbid a number of other suitors, including -- according to Variety -- Miramax and Summit, two of the ever-shrinking number of specialty film companies that could handle a period film with a limited audience appeal outside of a small number of major markets. The sale to the Weinstein Co. has raised eyebrows, since the company's economic woes have hardly been a state secret, with Weinstein struggling mightily after losing money in a number of ventures, including his purchase of a big chunk of Halston several years ago.

But if the film is truly Oscar worthy, no one runs a better awards campaign than Le Harvey. Ford, a novice film director who shot the film in 21 days, clearly sounded like a man on cloud nine, telling the press that he was astounded by the reaction to the film, saying: "Though I've gone through this with my collections in the past, this is so much more personal, and much more a reflection of my soul." Ford also sounded like a man who'd just been given a royal sweet talking from Weinstein, who is just as pragmatic as he is passionate about film, putting any fashion maven to shame when it comes to recutting and reshaping various artists' work if the product isn't ready to go to market.

Apparently Ford is still in the honeymoon swoon with Weinstein, since he told Variety: "I have always admired Harvey's great passion for film. ... I am ecstatic that we will finally be working together." It sounds like Ford has made an impressive film, so I'm rooting for him, but let's see how long that bout with ecstasy lasts.

Photo: Tom Ford. Credit: Terry Richardson