[critical] TOM AT THE FARM

En aerial view, the camera follows a car moving in the vertical plan, on a narrow country road as if she had to reach to the end of the world. Tom is at the wheel, he seems to sing “The Windmills of my heart” by Michel Legrand if you believe the soundtrack; but the voice is that of a professional female singer, the sound is too clean to get out of the car radio and the movements of the lips of the young man shift lyrics. It must be said that Tom lives a bereavement is difficult, and this song is perhaps a tribute to the man that he loved and that he had lost; a tribute that he can not control because of the emotions that jostle in his head. It is not only that the death of his younger companion disrupts; going to the funeral in the countryside of quebec, he is surprised that nobody expected; the mother and the eldest brother of the deceased rather expect the girlfriend that her boyfriend. From there is born an embarrassing situation beset by lies and unspoken that Tom can’t escape, in which he complairait almost.

The staging of Xavier Dolan has this fascinating is that, with a few small effusions of blood and some loud voices near, she knows how to show it visceral, make it feel to the viewer the violence implicit without the need of putting on a show. It is in this mastery of the tension that lies the talent of the young filmmaker : succeed to lead in the evolution of its main character’s discomfort until the fascination unhealthy using the framework as a means of immersion in the rural setting of the plot, and the clipping as a means of suggestion of the tension. Dolan applies a simple rule, founder of thrillers, and yet too often misused : not to say too much, and not too much in the show. And we will never see the deceased, even in a flash-back, evidence that there are some things that the living have never digested.

“Staging can be visceral, to feel the spectator of the violence implicit without the need of putting on a show.”

We will never know really what the game gave Francis its big brother, with Tom as a scapegoat; an ambivalence between repulsion and seduction ? A new fraternal bond ? An attraction to sado-masochistic ? The relationship between Francis and Tom precisely this frequent change of optics or even their superposition in the same scene; and this is what creates the disorder in the viewer; to the point that a dialogue incongruous between the two men and the mother of Francis I was personally split between the urge to laugh at the same time as the protagonists, and the desire to cross the screen to shake, yelling for the unhealthy lies that bind them.

I would be ungrateful if I ended this review without greeting the musical atmosphere, sometimes insidious, sometimes in a panic, and above all expertly crafted by Gabriel Yared , which serves to underline the homage of the enfant terrible of quebec cinema, to the masters of suspense and anguish, in the first place, the maestro Hitchcock (decidedly, the corn fields are in the jungles of hell !). A stay in the land not conquered, that we dépayse of social values, those which we use sometimes to sit quietly in our comfortable thoughts.


Original title : Tom at the Farm
Realization : Xavier Dolan
Screenplay : Xavier Dolan, based on the play by Michel Marc Bouchard
Main actors : Xavier Dolan, Pierre-Yves Cardinal, Lise Roy
Country of origin : CANADA
Released : April 16, 2014
Duration : 1h42 min
Distributor : MK2
Synopsis : Landing in Montreal to attend the funeral of his boyfriend, Tom made the acquaintance of the mother and of the brother of the deceased, with whom it will maintain a strange relationship.


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