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[19], Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian described it as an "intriguing [film] coiled with ardor and fear". Then, black. [21] Variety's Guy Lodge also wrote a positive review of the film, citing it as "Dolan's most accomplished and enjoyable work to date, ... also his most commercially viable". Shots of Tom are held and held and then held some more—at the wheel of his car, in the cornfields, running in slow motion with his blond locks dancing in the breeze, sitting pensively on a bed in his underwear, or looking out through a screen door as a single tear streaks his face, like Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables". Tom Rob Smith's latest thriller is based on his own frightening real-life experience with his mother's mental illness.

Tom reads his eulogy on the pretence that Sarah wrote it, and makes hints at Sarah's sexual habits. The haunting orchestral music and low-contrast cinematography give the scenes between the men a surreality uncommon in the horror-thriller fare of today. The young man afterwards disappeared, rumoured to be living in another village. Although the funeral has passed, Tom remains at the farm and begins helping Francis with the chores, particularly milking and calving.

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Today, Amplify will finally release Dolan’s highly-anticipated thriller, and we’re happy to report that it’s been worth the wait. [20] Irish Times' Tara Brady gave it five out of five stars and hailed it as a "work of genius", in which Dolan "transforms Michel Marc Bouchard's source stage play into a unique, enigmatic thriller".

In choosing not to build out Tom’s psychological framework, Dolan risks alienating more than a few viewers. [26] Dolan was a favourite at the 17th Jutra Awards, where his films Tom at the Farm and Mommy were pitted against each other in several categories, including Best Film. [11], Distributed by Les Films Séville,[12] Tom at the Farm had a wider cinematic release in 2014. It's really the story, and Dolan's intense interest in them is clear in the lingering way these scenes are shot.But as the film continues on and on (it's way too long), and Sarah (Evelyne Brochu), a city friend of Tom's shows up, pretending to be the girlfriend in order to put Agathe's mind at ease, "Tom at the Farm" unravels. [4] Writing with Bouchard was rushed, as Dolan wished for filming to begin in October 2012.

The only time he shows rage and frustration is when he is alone in his car after the funeral.

[6] Originally, Dolan had the idea to not use music in the film.

At the farm home, Tom tells Agathe he made his decision because he was dissatisfied with the writing quality of his eulogy. In keeping with his mastery of mood, Dolan has the ability to render any banal activity ominous. Tom is relatively submissive to Francis, taking the beatings, even encouraging them, and Francis senses that, takes pleasure in it. They get tied to one another by their shared lies, and their unspoken agreement to keep on lying. Sign up for our Email Newsletters here. When Tom agrees to stay at the farm house, he is surprised when Agathe tells him Guillaume has a brother, Francis. He wrote: "It's also hard to take the film seriously when scene after scene explores the director's face with such swooning intoxication. After being chased by Francis and leaving the community, Tom spots a man at a service station with facial scars matching the bartender's described attack. Tom is a young man whose boyfriend Guillaume has recently died (at 25, from some kind of accident which is never really explained).

And so Tom becomes a pawn in an elaborate charade. Read her answers to our Movie Love Questionnaire here.

The score supports that uneasy and terrible energy.

When his boyfriend Guillaume dies at 25, Tom, a youthful advertising editor from Montreal, visits Guillaume's rural community to deliver a eulogy at the funeral. He doesn't just walk down to the main road and hitch a ride. (Alfred Hitchcock loved to fill his films with beautiful people and then make horrible things happen to them.) [23], The Hollywood Reporter's critic David Rooney reviewed the film unfavorably and criticized Dolan for being self-obsessed.

He arrives at a very modest farmhouse, where’s he’s invited to stay with the deceased young man’s mother.

[3] Lise Roy played Agathe in stage performances of Tom at the Farm, with Dolan assuring her she would have the film role after seeing her in the play.

Interviews with leading film and TV creators about their process and craft.

[5] Roy found it different to be on an actual farm and said she was challenged by what she found to be a lonely shoot. Why ‘Mank’ and ‘Borat 2’ Are Serious Oscar Contenders in a Very Strange Year, ‘Soul’ Aims for Oscar Glory as Disney Shifts to Streaming, but Not All Films Deserve the Same Release, How Closed Theaters, Drive-In Movies, and Netflix Supremacy Are Shaping Oscar Season, Introducing ‘Deep Dive’: Damon Lindelof and His Team Go Behind the Scenes of ‘Watchmen’, ‘Succession’: How Editing Helps Every Dinner Scene Come to Life — Deep Dive, Becoming Hooded Justice: The ‘Watchmen’ Craft Team Analyzes the Emotional, Pivotal Scene – Deep Dive, 40 Must-See New Movies to See This Fall Season, The Fate of Movie Theaters Could Hinge on the Outcome of the Election, Zoe Lister-Jones Shook Up Hollywood with Her All-Female Crew, Now She’s Doing It with ‘The Craft: Legacy’.

The film is based on the play of the same name by Michel Marc Bouchard, who co-wrote the screenplay with Dolan. Francis accosts the grieving Tom mid-shower.

Tom visits the local bar, where he strikes a conversation with the bartender. Francis and Tom hate each other, want to be each other, role-reverse, flirt, lash out. Like “The Babadook,” “Tom at the Farm” turns a psychological state into horror. [5] For one scene, Dolan ran through a cornfield.

After completing his 2012 feature film Laurence Anyways, Dolan felt that "a change of direction was needed" since, in his own words, the previous three movies dealt with the "subject of impossible love". Tom begins to transpose his residual romantic feelings onto Francis, who, in turn, comes to see Tom as a surrogate for his brother, someone he both needs and deplores. The thriller elements, the chase scenes, the reveal of horrifying secrets, feel like add-ons, clumsily done and unmotivated, especially when compared to the dark and deep dance (metaphorical and literal) of violence and sex going on between Tom and Francis. He submits to the game too quickly and without real precedent. And as the lies compound, reality warps into nightmare. When alone with Sarah, Francis deduces Tom has contacted her and persuaded her to come to the farm and pose as Guillaume's girlfriend, attacking and making threatening sexual advances on her. This is not an action-based, in your face, thriller like his previous work, but a psychological mystery, a coming out of sorts as a writer.

But there’s another side of the coin to this particular strength of Dolan’s. Knowing next to nothing of his former partner’s family, Tom sets out to the countryside to attend the funeral. Agathe knows Guillaume had a lover, but believes it was a young woman, Guillaume and Tom's co-worker Sarah. Homophobia and repression become demonic forces that destroy sanity and cause acts of brutal violence. It could be an answer to the nagging question throughout: Why the hell doesn't Tom just leave? Reviews Tom at the Farm Sheila O'Malley August 14, 2015. All we can see is pen and paper, yet the pauses between hasty words carry with them heavy emotion. But one day, Francis teaches Tom how to milk cows. Where it works against him at “Tom at the Farm” is in the realm of credibility. These are out-there people with outrageous emotional lives, subsisting on lies and denial, and the abyss between what they think their lives are and what their lives really are is enormous.

As an actor, Dolan has a blank and beautiful quality reminiscent of the young Alain Delon, whose almost otherworldly good looks were show-stopping and yet somehow off-putting as well (utilized to great effect in Jean-Paul Melville's "Le Samouraï"). Xavier Dolan is a master of atmosphere. Sheila O'Malley received a BFA in Theatre from the University of Rhode Island and a Master's in Acting from the Actors Studio MFA Program. [17] In Voir, Manon Dumais praised Dolan for building on Turpin's photography and Yared's music and drawing on thriller and horror film elements to capture the repressed family and community. Nobody does.

Movie Reviews Great Movies Collections TV/Streaming Features Chaz's Journal Interviews. A raging homophobe, Francis “knows what Tom is” and will do everything in his power to keep that secret from his mother. Once he arrives and meets Guillaume's mother Agathe (Lise Roy, who gives the best performance in the film), he learns that his boyfriend was closeted to his mother and had lied that he had a girlfriend. Is he a hostage grappling with something like Stockholm Syndrome, or is he submitting himself to masochism?

“Tom at the Farm” plays like the sinister child of “North by Northwest” and “The Babadook.” Like “North by Northwest,” the bucolic setting turns threatening, and Hitchcockian pacing is at work throughout.

The group meets in the living room, where Agathe becomes overwhelmed with questions about Sarah's apparent lack of grief, why Guillaume fell out with the family and who was with Guillaume when he died. He was warned it could be dangerous, but because it had been raining he didn't suffer any cuts.

It was screened in the main competition section at the 70th Venice International Film Festival in 2013, and also at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

Through violence and threat, the sadistic brother forces Tom to lie about his deceased boyfriend.

Then another day, Tom helps birth a calf, and cries with emotion afterwards. Audiences are drawn to such cinematic beauty, but can also be envious, and slightly hostile.

He meets Guillaume's mother Agathe Longchamp, who does not know Guillaume was gay and that Tom was his lover.

Bonded and Unbound: Sean Connery, 1930-2020, Disney+'s The Mandalorian Makes a Valiant Return in Season Two Opener, Amazon's Truth Seekers is Missing Jokes and Scares. When the young man dancing with Guillaume told Francis he had something to say about Guillaume, Francis viciously assaulted him, tearing into his face with his hands.

He travels out to the man's family farm to attend the funeral, but it soon becomes apparent that Guillaume's brother is trying to keep Tom and Guillaume's relationship hidden from his fragile mother. His films live in the spaces between words. The ending, too, rests entirely upon a repeated visual that haunts to the bone. Though he deals in abstractions — jealousy, hate, love, Freudianism — he delivers his stories in precise gestures that contain a universe within them. But "Tom at the Farm" does not foreground the thriller aspect enough (although the score tries mightily to do so), and so Tom doesn't seem quite real. Tom (Dolan) drives through serene and brightly-colored autumn fields to attend the funeral of his boyfriend Guillaume.

[16] Eric Moreault gave it three and a half stars, writing that with its psychology, the film owed as much to Ingmar Bergman as Alfred Hitchcock. It's a melodramatic score, and "Tom at the Farm" works when it is a family melodrama. The film is based on the play of the same name by Michel Marc Bouchard, who co-wrote the screenplay with Dolan.

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