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Directed by Celine Sciamma
Produced in 2011
Main Language - French with English subtitles
Jeanne Disson, Malonn Levana, Mathieu Demy, Sophie Cattani, Yohan Vero, Zoe Heran
Set, like Céline Sciamma's 2007 debut, Water Lilies, between childhood and adolescence, Tomboy is a sweet and very enjoyable homage to the joys and confusions of youth, says Mike McCahill.
One of French cinema’s brightest new talents, director Céline Sciamma specialises in studies of that particular moment between childhood and adolescence. After 2007’s Water Lilies – concerning rivalries within a synchronised swimming squad – follow-up Tomboy centres on a pre-pubescent sprite adapting to a new school, home and body. Wiry young Mikael’s athleticism wins the admiration of his football teammates, and the adoration of the girl next door, who senses he’s something special. Special indeed, for the lad has a secret: Mikael’s actually called Laure.
We spot traces of incipient self-loathing in a heroine not as yet old enough to figure herself out, yet the director, under 30 at time of shooting, remembers well the pleasures of being young, from the afternoons stretching out like centuries to the ever-satisfying scent of Play-Doh. Sciamma is turning out to be as strong a screen sensualist as Claire Denis: buoyed by lead Zoé Héran’s superbly instinctive performance, her latest wrestles with complex gender issues even as it renders sweet and very enjoyable homage to the joys and confusions of youth.
Mike McCahill on 12th January 2012
Author of 338 reviews
A gay-themed French drama following 10-year-old tomboy Laure. After moving to a different neighbourhood with her family, Laure is mistaken for a boy by Lisa (Jeanne Disson) and decides to accept this new identity under the name of Michael. She spends a summer with Lisa, playing games and experiencing first kisses...but it is only a matter of time before the truth emerges.
Length: 82 mins
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 5th March 2012
Cat No: PPD237
- Behind the scenes featurette
- Director interview.