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Xavier Dolan, 2013

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Glowering skies, grisly goings-on – Xavier Dolan’s thriller has a distinctly Scandinavian noir aesthetic. Its setting, though, is backwoods Quebec, where gay city boy Tom (Dolan) gets trapped after the funeral of his lover Guillaume.

“Keep quiet about being gay – or else,” the deceased’s violently homophobic brother threatens Tom, forcing him to repress his grief and to act like a mere messenger from Guillaume’s “girlfriend”.

Dolan, at just 25, has crafted a chilling study of emotional hostage-taking, thick with the closeted dark secrets you might find in Almodóvar but stripped of the colour and jokes.

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