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Tom à la ferme (2013)

Not Rated | | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | 14 August 2015 (USA)
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A grieving man meets his lover's family, who were not aware of their son's sexual orientation.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
8 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Tom
... Francis
... Agathe
... Sarah
Manuel Tadros ... Bar Owner
Jacques Lavallée ... Priest
Anne Caron ... Doctor
Olivier Morin ... Paul
Johanne Léveillé ... Service Station Employee
Mathieu Roy ... Man at Convenience Store
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Storyline

The story of Tom, who is in the grip of grief and depression following the death of his lover. When he meets the family of the deceased, it is revealed the mother was not aware of her son's sexual orientation, or his relationship with Tom either, for that matter. Written by Indie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What you don't know WILL hurt you.


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Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

14 August 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tom at the Farm  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Dolby 5.1)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the beginning of the film Tom composes his eulogy for Guillaume using a blue pen. Director Xavier Dolan said this is the only kind of pen he uses; it is a discontinued model, but he had ordered an industrial amount of them from the manufacturer. See more »

Quotes

Francis: Next time you run off, try to go for the soy bean field. It's October & the corn cuts like a knife.
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Connections

Featured in The Art of Directing: Xavier Dolan (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Diferente
Written and Composed by Philippe Cohen-Solal, Christoph H. Müller and Eduardo Makaroff
Performed by Gotan Project
(from 2006 album "Lunatico")
Published by Kobalt Music Publishing America Inc.
With the Authorization of XL Recordings
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User Reviews

 
Dolan ventures into the dark area in a psycho-sexual thriller
25 March 2015 | by See all my reviews

To follow the chronic order, I decide to watch this film before Dolan's latest MOMMY (2014), which has just freshly arrived. TOM AT THE FARM is Canadian prodigy and Cannes darling Xavier Dolan's fourth film, adapted from Michel Marc Bouchard's play, this marks the first time he is not the sole writer for his works, it is also a veer of style for him, delves into the murky suspense and violence of a psychological thriller, and notably, in its highly strained chasing-in-the-forest incident near the coda, it conspicuously recalls another exceptional gay-themed thriller Alain Guiraudie's STRANGERS BY THE LAKE (2013, 8/10) of the same year, but these two films end with two completely contrasting options for our protagonists who both face irresistible sexual attraction from the sort who is too dangerous for their own good.

Sported as a perennially tacky curly blond, Dolan plays Tom, an urban advertisement editor who has just lost his boyfriend Guillaume in an accident. Driving en route to attend his funeral in a remote farm, Tom meets Guillaume's family members, his mother Agathe (Roy) and his brother Francis (Cardinal) who lives with her and whose existence has never been informed to Tom until now. On top of that, Agathe seems to be unwitting of Guillaume's sexual orientation, so Tom has to comfort her grievance by telling a white lie that Guillaume has a girlfriend named Sarah (Brochu), who in fact is just one of their common friends. Yet, Francis is the one who actually knows it all, his violent and homophobic behaviour towards Tom strikes a sadomasochistic thrill, which is not merely one-sided, as the film not-so- subtly implies Francis is a closeted homosexual himself. They both desperately or compulsively trace the resemblance or remnants of the deceased in each other, to the degree, Tom actually complies to act as a voluntary hostage on the farm and even enjoys the pastoral drudgery. One night Sarah's visit inopportunely provokes Agathe's deeply- buried agony, while apart from Francis' overcompensated interest in Sarah, Tom learns a horrible episode of his past from a bar owner, which overturns his perception of the tight corner where he is in. The second day, he decides to flee and turns his life back on track.

Here, Dolan again plays the Aspect Ratio gimmick, in the scenes where Tom is physically abused by Francis, it changes from the usual 1.85:1 to a more smothering letterbox; and if one is familiar with his narcissistic disposition, here he continues to wallow in close-ups, mostly on himself especially when Tom is anguish-ridden or being suffocated to barely catch a breath under Francis' masculine domination. While the entire film is coherently enveloped in an overcast dreariness, the close-knitted cast (both Roy and Brochu are from the original play) has done an amazing job in establishing the engaging tensions and occasionally a smack of warmth glistening. Roy and Cardinal are the MVPs, the former is offered a soul-pulverising flare-up while being consistently emotive during all her presence, and the latter beefs up his boorish machismo with very disarming appeal which superbly gilds an atmosphere of ambiguity in Francis' deadly mystique; on top of that the two together also builds up a detrimental mother-son relationship, which also wittily insinuates what has happened to the mother in the end, it is an innovative modus operandi to justify the plot-line without revealing everything in front of viewer's eyes.

As for our triple threat Dolan, with his Joker-alike makeup, he shows beyond doubt that apart from the ostentatious style bandwagon, he certainly is on his way to mature into a multi-faceted filmmaker who is able to tackle with the darkest corner of humanity and leaves his own trademark on it. A final nod to Dolan's cherrypick of songs, Rufus Wainwright's GOING TO A TOWN, appears in the ending credit, is an utterly poignant theme song for Tom's bumpy ride.


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