In Tomboy, French filmmaker Céline Sciamma’s (Water Lilies) second feature, a family with two daughters, 10-year-old Laure and 6-year-old Jeanne, 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 leader of the pack Lisa, who becomes smitten. At home with her parents 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. But as the end of her idyllic summer approaches, so too does the dilemma of revealing her potentially unsettling secret.
Céline Sciamma brings a light and charming touch to this contemporary coming-of-age story (buoyed by a disarmingly natural and likeable performance by young actress Zoé Heran as Laure/Mikael), which is also about relationships between children, children and parents, and the even more complicated one between one’s heart and body.
“Tomboy is tender and affectionate.”
—Roger Ebert, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
“STARTLING! A beautiful, matter-of-fact French drama about a young girl who wants to be a boy.”
—Lisa Schwarzbaum, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
“Tomboy stands out as an especially affecting delicacy about the thrills and pitfalls of exploring who one is.”
—Robert Abele, LOS ANGELES TIMES
“Tomboy has more depth and heart than perhaps any film in the last several years.”