Winter 2012 Features series
Sunday, April 8, 2012 at 7:00pm
Monday, April 9, 2012 at 7:00pm
Directed by Céline Sciamma
Screenplay by Céline Sciamma
Starring Zoé Héran, Malonn Lévana, and Jeanne Disson
Rated PG ·
In filmmaker Céline Sciamma’s (Water Lilies) second feature, a family with two daughters, 10-year-old Laure (Zoé Heran) and 6-year-old Jeanne (Malonn Lévana), moves to a new suburban neighborhood during the summer holidays. With her Jean Seberg haircut and tomboy ways, Laure is immediately mistaken for a boy by the local kids, and decides to pass herself off as “Mikael,” a boy different enough to catch the attention of the leader of the pack, Lisa (Jeanne Disson), who becomes smitten.
At home with her parents (Mathieu Demy and Sophie Cattani) and girlie younger sister, she is Laure; hanging out with her new pals and girlfriend, she is Mikael. Finding resourceful ways to hide her true self, Laure takes advantage of her new identity, as if the end of the summer would never reveal her unsettling secret.
Sciamma brings a light and charming touch to this contemporary coming-of-age story, which is also about relationships between children, children and parents, and the even more complicated one between one’s heart and body.
Tomboy is one of those little big films whose simplicity and concision suggest the excess of meaning that language (cinematic or otherwise) could never account for. Films like this seem to know and accept the inadequacy of complexity, or spectacle, of form and style when the task at hand is expressing the unspeakability of the human condition. Sciamma renders visual some of the most complicated and elusive structures at work in the constitution of personhood (i.e. desire), and never in a sentimental or manipulative way. Her sensibility as a director along with the masterful performance by Zoé Héran (as well as Malon Lévana) keeps _Tomboy from making any overreaching or generalizing claims about gender, identity, or the sexuality of children._ – Diego Costa, Slant Magazine