Tomboy

"Excellent"

Tomboy Review


This thoughtful and complex drama tackles a big subject without ever becoming an issue movie. This is because it tightly maintains its perspective, letting us see the world through the eyes of a child who doesn't realise her life is an "issue".

After her family moves to a new neighbourhood, 10-year-old Laure (Heran) introduces herself as Mikael to a new friend Lisa (Disson), who simply assumes that she's a boy. All of the other kids do as well, letting Laure join the boys in football matches, roughhouse in the woods and play king of the raft when swimming. So when Laure's little sister Jeanne (Levana) discovers the secret, Laure is suddenly in a panic. What if her parents (Cattani and Demy) find out? And that's nothing compared to being outed to her new friends.

By sticking so closely to Laure's point of view, we immediately understand her deeply felt yearning and constant ingenuity at coming up with ways to further her own reality. Her parents are warm and loving, open and honest with their kids and as accepting of Laure's boyish haircuts and dress sense as they are of Jeanne's girly ballet dreams. They're also expecting a new son soon, and we can feel Laure's mixed emotions about this, even as they are never overtly expressed.

In fact, the film takes such a beautifully subtle approach to its subject matter that we are surprised at how strongly we react along with Laure as things begin to get out of control and then collapse in on her. Writer-director Sciamma takes a strikingly intimate approach that captures the physicality in extremely clever ways. We acutely feel the closeness and camaraderie between the characters as well as Laure's opinion of her own body.

Performances are excellent across the board, and the cast of children is remarkably strong. Heran is revelatory as Laure, seemingly never aware of the camera. In fact, each of the children has a strong on-screen presence as Sciamma directs them to underplay scenes for maximum impact. This not only makes them hugely endearing, but also puts us firmly on their sides when real life takes some intense turns. And of course we know that this is just the beginning.



Tomboy

Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Run time: 82 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 20th April 2011

Box Office USA: $0.1M

Budget: $1000 thousand

Distributed by: Dada Films

Production compaines: Hold Up Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Fresh: 60 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Celine Sciamma

Producer: Benedicte Couvreur

Starring: Zoé Héran as Laure / Michaël, Malonn Lévana as Jeanne, Jeanne Disson as Lisa, Sophie Cattani as La mère, Mathieu Demy as Le père, Rayan Boubekri as Rayan, Yohan Vero as Vince, Noah Vero as Noah, Cheyenne Lainé as Cheyenne, Christel Baras as La mère de Lisa, Valérie Roucher as La mère de Rayan

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