Review: Tom At The Farm (2013)

Tom At The Farm

Québécois wunderkind Xavier Dolan, who already has a creditable three features under his belt, returns with his fourth and most coherent effort yet, the dark and broody Tom At The Farm. At an unnamed farm for the funeral of his boyfriend Guillaume, Tom (Dolan) is soon made aware that Guillaume’s mother Agathe (Lise Roy) knows nothing of her son’s true sexuality, or his relationship with Tom – and Guillaume’s thuggish older brother Francis (Pierre Yves-Cardinal) intends to keep it that way, threatening Tom into an unsettling state of submission. With a Hitchcockian vibe rippling through its veins, Tom At The Farm, which Dolan adapted from Michel Marc Bouchard’s play of the same name, is a taut, eerie and intricate psychological thriller that unravels at a superb pace as Tom becomes weirdly attuned – and even attracted – to Francis’ violent tendencies. Tension mounts from Dolan’s ability to use the primarily sole setting and rustic visual flourishes to his benefit, opting for a moodier, less showy visual style this time around. And while he’s always been capable both in front of and behind the camera, he comes up to trumps here with a script that’s immersive and sharp, yet still equivocal enough to keep audiences on their toes throughout, with plenty of details concealed deep beneath the cracks and behind the lines. These strong suits fuse together to deliver Dolan’s best film yet – one that’s atmospheric, intense and enormously captivating.

1 thought on “Review: Tom At The Farm (2013)”

  1. This looks really interesting, looking forward to seeing it. Fourth film at just 25, Dolan frightens me, I’m 25 and I can only just about look after myself! Wunderkind indeed.


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