Jun 30, 2022

Tom at the Farm (2013)

Tom at the Farm is a 2013 Canadian psychological thriller film directed by and starring Xavier Dolan. The film is based on the play of the same name by Michel Marc Bouchard, who co-wrote the screenplay with Dolan. 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. At Venice, the film won the FIPRESCI Prize. Tom at the Farm was also nominated for eight Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Motion Picture.

A grieving man meets his lover's family, who were not aware of their son's sexual orientation.
Freddy and Krasnaya Movie Review

F: Good evening everyone. This is our third movie of the week directed by Xavier Dolan. With "Tom at the Farm", we started real slow. We see our main character, Tom (Xavier Dolan), going around a house looking for someone. Slowly, I followed him as he searched, without success, for somebody inside. Finally, he finds a key on the ground and makes himself welcome. He sits in a kitchen chair and waits, ending up falling asleep. With this beginning, I became very impatient and predicted that this was going to be another homosexual melodrama. Boy, wasn't I wrong! This was a disturbing terroristic thriller that kept me awake! Tom is visiting for a funeral. The house he sneaked into belongs to the family of his dead boyfriend. The dead boy's mother doesn't know who Tom is. The sociopathic brother knows, and he is ready to receive Tom on their farm...

K: Hey Freddy! I absolutely loved the beginning of the film with those endless fields of corn in the setting sun to the emotionally poignant soundtrack "Les Moulins de Mon Coeur". This is the only color-filled moment in the film, then everything becomes hazy, smoky with faded colors, which definitely helps to immerse yourself in an atmosphere of oppressive longing that is getting worse and worse every minute.

Tom at the Funeral GIF
I also found some moments hilarious. Like in this funeral.
F: I liked this movie for many different aspects, but the overall message is what hits the most. In my view, the movie shows how someone being constantly bullied by someone, or society itself, can have their sense of identity completely stripped away from them and be so miserable and confused that they can only hate themselves for being the way they are. IMO, this movie does a service for the LGBT community because it made a brute macho man like me feel empathy and understanding for Tom. Xavier Dolan made a movie capable of changing people's hearts, and for that he deserves total respect.

K: This whole twist of emotions is backed up by great acting and close-ups that Dolan loves. The brother, Francis (Pierre-Yves Cardinal) is a very convincing abuser in every manifestation. At times it seemed to me that Francis was a complete psycho, who either beats Tom or dances the tango with him and is frank about how he really feels about his mother. The film is saturated with the pain of loss, which connects the characters. And even painfully developing relationships somehow calm them down. Tom develops a Stockholm syndrome complex and Francis has a clearly identified Oedipus complex aggravated by his envy of his younger brother.

Tom at the Tango Dance GIF
Disturbing and funny at the same time.
F: I love how Dolan plays with time in this movie. We have all these blank spaces that you have to fill with your imagination. The way the film cuts to the chase scene in the cornfield is absolutely amazing, as is the photography present here. There's some twisted and violent homoerotic stuff that makes me uncomfortable, but worse than that was the fact that the girl, Sara, that comes to rescue Tom later in the film ends up being OK with the sadistic brother and abandons Tom. The idea of a female accepting that violent dominance, that's linked with sexuality, as Tom was also accepting it, is very disturbing to me.

K: After thinking more about Sarah in this film, I still think that she did this to save Tom, helped him wake up from this sick relationship and find the strength to live on.

F: This is a thrilling movie with plenty of mystery about a guy made prisoner in a rural farm. I recommend this movie to anyone, especially the light homophobes out there. In my confusing straight terms, this is a gay movie without being gay. It's cool. 

K: Definitely, a film that deserves attention. 

Tom at the Farm's Cornfield GIF
I think that his blonde hair helped in turning these into a really cool scene.
Freddy's Score: 79/100
Krasnaya's Score: 79/100





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