Amplify Releasing will be debuting the French-language film in theaters and on VOD platforms on August 14.
“Tom at the Farm,” Dolan’s fourth movie, is a psychological thriller about a young Montreal man (Dolan) who travels to rural Canada for an ex-boyfriend’s funeral, where he finds himself staying with the deceased’s family. Despite positive reviews out of Venice, “Tom” never found a U.S. distributor.
Amplify’s CCO Dylan Marchetti said he was surprised when he read a recent interview from the Quebecois director, while promoting his 2014 Cannes-winner “Mommy,” talking about how “Tom” didn’t open in the United States. Marchetti called the sales agent — MK2’s Victoire Thevenin — and a deal was quickly struck.
“I think it’s his most commercial film by far,” Marchetti tells Variety. “I don’t know what everyone else was thinking. It’s smart, it’s sexy, it’s oddly dark. Audiences are going to respond.”
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Amplify Releasing, which launched in 2014 (after “Tom’s” Venice premiere), will not be submitting the film to the MPAA, and will be showing the movie unrated. The New York-based distributor will be unveiling fresh promotional material for the film, effectively introducing it as a new release in the United States.
In other territories, “Tom at the Farm” opened two years ago, but U.S. audiences are more familiar with Dolan (“Heartbeats,” “I Killed My Mother”) now thanks to “Mommy.” The Roadside Attractions release grossed $3.5 million domestically in 2014, making it one of the top foreign films of last year. Dolan was always perplexed about what happened to “Tom.”
“It’s hard to say in a fully modest way, but I was truly puzzled as to how exactly ‘Tom at the Farm’ never landed distribution in the U.S.,” Dolan said in a statement. “To me, it was by far my most accessible film. I mean, it’s a 90-minute psychological thriller, and it’s sort of gory, but then very conventional too. I’m obviously psyched that Amplify Releasing has taken ‘Tom’ under their wing. But the topic remains truly relevant — can intolerance and psychological violence ever be dull? And I’m proud to know the American public will be able to see it. And hopefully, like it.”
Dolan recently served on the Cannes 2015 jury, and is now shooting “It’s Only the End of the World” (“Juste La Fin Du Monde”), starring Marion Cotillard.
Here’s an exclusive first look at the U.S. poster.