How entertaining? ★★★★☆
Thought provoking? ★★☆☆☆
5 March 2012
This a movie review of TOMBOY.
“Are you looking for the others? I noticed you looking at them. They already left. Are you new around here?” Lisa (Jeanne Disson)
Writer-director Céline Sciamma is not afraid to tackle complicated subjects like burgeoning sexuality and identity, first with WATER LILIES, and now with the expertly handled TOMBOY. The title gives the game away, not that it’s about any twist. Laure is a ten-year-old girl that moves to a new neighbourhood one summer, and decides to pass herself off to the kids, she starts to hang around, as a boy. In other respects she appears well adjusted. Her family are loving, including a particular tight bond with her younger sister Jeanne. To pretend to be something one is not, because of lack of satisfaction in one’s skin, is bound to raise sympathy. It is even sadder so here, with someone so young, and unlikely to completely comprehend what they are feeling, much less have the vocabulary to articulate it. This is then coupled with living a lie, which compounds the situation. As the new school year approaches, there looms the fact that one particular new friend, Lisa, from her area will be in her class and the truth will out; adding a serious dramatic tension where you wonder how Laure will extricate herself. The performances are top notch, and there is a deft lightness of touch to the direction. A little gem worth spending the 80 or so minutes with.