Tired of seeing predictable and mindless summer movies like Captain America, Transformers, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes? If the answer is yes, then head to the cinema this weekend and see Tomboy.
Tomboy, in French with English subtitles, tells the story of Laure (Zoe Herrann), a young girl who wants to be a boy. After moving house, she tells her new friends that 'her' name is Michael. Her parents, who during the course of the film have a baby boy, don't suspect their daughter is telling the neighbourhood kids she is a boy. The only person in the family who knows her secret is her little sister, Lisa (played by the extremely adorable Jeanne Disson). Lisa really wants to hang out with her older 'brother' and the neighbourhood kids, so she promises not to tell their parents Laure's secret.
Hanging out wih the neighbourhood kids, Michael (Laure) plays rough games of football, chase, and even goes swimming in a local pond. (Laure, in a funny and poignant part of the film, uses play dough to construct a penis and places it in her crotch). A neighbourhood girl takes a liking to Michael (Laure) and pursues him, and eventually they share a kiss.
Will the kids find out Michael is a girl? Will his little sister tell their parents? *
Herran as Laure/Michael is amazing. With her boyish looks, short hair, and screen attitude, Herran makes us really believe she wants to be a boy. Practically stealing the film is Disson, who is the most adorable child actor seen on screen in years. For someone so young (six), she acts in Tomboy like she has been acting for years.
Director/writer Celine Sciamma was able to extract amazing performances from Herran, Disson, and also Malonn Levana as Jeanne, the girl who likes Laure/Michael. To be able to assemble a cast of young children who are the main characters in a movie and where the adults take a backseat is a credit to the director.
Tomboy will tug at your heart and makes your eyes moist. It is a simple, quiet film that you will enjoy, tremendously.
* Please note that this article has been changed from its original format so as to not ruin the film for anyone else.