news | Tuesday September 3, 2013

In Review: Film Adaptation of Tom at the Farm

[image: poster for the film Tom at the Farm]

Young Quebec filmmaker Xavier Dolan’s new drama, Tom à la ferme, is currently playing at the 70th Venice Film Festival (August 28 to September 7, 2013).

Based on the play Tom at the Farm by Michel-Marc Bouchard, Dolan’s film tells the story of a gay man who attends the funeral of his lover, only to learn that no one knew of the deceased’s sexuality nor their relationship. Questionable interactions between the man and his lover’s family become questionable relationships as he stays on at the farm.

John Bleasdale reviewed the film for CineVue. Here are his final reflections:

… Hitchcockian influence can be seen in the utilisation of creaking rooms and lonely farms, as well as the familial madness … There’s also more than a dash of early Polanski in the film’s sense of claustrophobia and lurking menace, but Dolan adds his own touches of broader comedy with tango lessons in a barn, filthy talk in the kitchen and pop songs at the funeral. Thankfully, _Tom at the Farm_’s slide into absurdity never flops into out-and-out fantasy, and Dolan is careful to ground his latest effort, sometimes literally in the mud and earth of the land.

… With his fourth feature completed at the tender age of just 24, Dolan has established a reputation for himself as a director of original and entertaining cinema. Tom at the Farm is confidently delivered, its shots composed with a careful eye, and its occasional stylistic flourish – ratios change in moments of danger, for instance – hint at someone pushing at the possibilities of cinema, if not quite breaking through.

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