I just finished watching Tomboy, a French movie about a 10 year-old girl who moved to a new place with her family and decided to tell everybody she was a boy. It is certainly an intense movie from the point of view of its topic but it is a nice addition to my Foreign subcategory which has not gotten many posts.
I had Tomboy in my “to watch” list for a long time and today I felt like watching it. Directed and written by Céline Sciamma for who this is a second feature film. She tackles a difficult issue with Tomboy by trying to show a rough topic through the eyes of children. Laure who is brilliantly played my Zoé Héran wants to fit into a group of young boys and since she has boyish looks, manages to do so. She sure does look like a boy and if I had not known she was a girl I would have found it much more shocking when the plot finally revealed it. Although the moment was still surprisingly shown to the audience!
The movie continues as the rest of the summer passes for Laure and as Michaël to others. She plays football without her shirt, spits on the ground like a boy, wrestles with boys and even goes swimming as a boy! When a group member Lisa develops feelings for him she replies to them. Meanwhile at home she plays with her little sister as if she was just a girl. I kept wondering what will happen if others found out her secret and I did not have to wait long. The ending gives a solid but not too light finishing touches to this intriguing situation whilst her mother’s words truly describes the movie: “It doesn’t bother me that you pretend to be a boy. And it doesn’t hurt me. But it can’t continue.” Yes, Laure is a boy to others but school is soon starting and she can not be one any longer. But it gives an idea that the mother does not care if she keeps acting like a boy, keeps wearing boyish clothes and even carries some boy-like physical attributes. So in a sense, it leaves everything open for Laure who for one summer got to be a boy…
All this and all of it in french gave me an amazing experience this evening and I wanted to come and write about it immediately! Although I am giving it a 4 out of 5 (cause 5 is still rare) I want to give Zoé Héran a 7 out of 5! She was so great and I can just see her in my future in so many movies yet to come.