Xavier Dolan is only 26-years-old and for years now his films have been creating buzz. He’s won the Cesar Award for Best Foreign Film, the Cannes Jury Prize, and several awards for his films. Right now he created buzz for directing Adele’s new music video. The Montreal director and actor was the creator of this film, “Tom at the Farm.” It’s a French-Canadian picture that was first released in 2013. It’s a psychological thriller that deals with the theme of power. The plot is about Tom (Dolan’s role), a young man that goes to the funeral of his lover and meets his family. His family being a mother and brother. The mother is a little off and the brother is very violent. Tom is soon drawn into their world and is in a power struggle with the brother. It’s based on the play of the same name by Michel Marc Bouchard.
Tom is basically tortured by the brother (Francis). It was Pierre-Yves Cardinal, who played Francis. Francis hits, chokes, and mentally abuses Tom. He tells him that he hates him, but in one scene after he beats Tom he takes him to the doctor. That’s basically the movie. You see Tom slowly falling for Francis and the lies that both of them make about Guillaume. His mother (played by Lise Roy) didn’t know that he was gay and Francis doesn’t want her to find out. So he makes Tom lie and then tells him that he can leave. Of course he lies and when Tom tries to leave through the cornfield, he gets beat by Francis.Then there are scenes where they dance together and go out together. That scene gets heated, then loses after Tom is reminded of the young brother. It’s a raw story there is no doubt about that.
Dolan not only directs the film well, he acts well too. It’s impressive on how he can convey emotions on the screen with just little words. The chilling scene where he tells Sarah (the girl that pretends to have been the girlfriend, comes later in the film) that he is happy to be here and loves the farm. She gets impatient and almost sick at those words. She notices the odd relationship and the bruises. In Tom’s defense he tries to leave, but Francis destroys his car. It’s all about control for Francis, so it can’t be love for Tom. There isn’t too much said about Guillaume, though you do get tidbits. Francis probably controlled his brother and that’s why he left. Francis may be the one in control, but it may be a fact that he can’t live without Tom. Nobody can in the house. Though the mother is just as controlling, she even hits Francis in a scene. She’s worried about Tom and gets mad that he gets hurt by a ‘farming’ accident.
So “Tom at the Farm,” deals with loneliness, control, and lies. Tom gets lied about his lover, they lie to the mother, and Francis lies to himself about who he is. One can’t exactly call it a slow burn, because one never knows what is going to happen next. Is Tom going to get killed by Francis? Will Tom escape? It’s thrilling enough, though it won’t make anyone feel that great. Each actor does their part well and that’s what makes the movie. The other thing that makes the film is the scene where Tom learns just what Francis does to people that get too close to his brother. That’s the whole turn around in the film.Dolan fans and those who are tired of same old blockbusters of recent will enjoy this four star movie. It’s visually unsettling and beautiful at the same time.