French Film Festival: Tomboy: Screening Review- Tomboy is sublime, lit with a great cast

Directed by Céline Sciamma, this 2011 film has won the Teddy Jury Award  which focuses on gender identity. The film is about a 10 year old girl Laure (Zoe Heran) who has just moved in into her new home in suburban Paris. She has a younger sister Jeanne, with her mom addressing the two of them as girls. Director Sciamma has carefully handled the issue of gender identity in the most simple way, using everyday situations to explain Laure’s emotion.

The opening shot of the film is delicate, showing Laure sitting in her father’s lap, driving a car. Crystal Fournier’s cinematography is such that questions the audience. Is it a father teaching his little girl how to drive, or is it the gait that indicates it is a boy? Laure is hesitant at first to play in her new neighbourhood, but befriends a young girl Lisa (Jeanne Disson). Laure is then introduced to the boys of the neighbourhood, playing football with them. Laure or Mikael is then placed in tricky situations, almost forcing her to reveal her identity. On the other hand, when she returns home, Laure listen to bedtime tales and games. 
Set during a child’s pre-pubescent years, Tomboy portrays the eagerness and innocence of childhood, often putting Laure in a conundrum. When Lisa visits Laure, there is a comfortable silence between the two, giving the feeling that Laure has managed to either brush aside or maintain her tomboy looks. 
Why You Should Watch this film?
Zoe Heran as Laure is charming, and excels in her role as a confused girl. Tomboy is palpable at times, which drives the movie forward.
Shlomoh Samuel

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