a film by Céline Sciamma
2011 | France
84 mins official - 79 mins DVD
›› Tomboy
a sexual masquerade; tomboy style.
Tomboy by Céline Sciamma From writer and director Céline Sciamma of Water Lilies fame, comes this touching coming-of-age tale that is as joyous, as it is life affirming.

Not that life is not already difficult for ten-year-old Laure, as a move to yet another house beckons a new set of friends to make. Yet that's where things get complicated, given this girl is more at home rough necking it as a boy. Considering herself the "big brother" to her girly little sister Jeanne and babysitting her most of the time by way of a heavily pregnant mother, likeable Laure nevertheless is soon to make friends and in particular with local girl Lisa, only to introduce herself as "Mikael." Yet in doing so, how long can she pretend to be one of the boys?

Tomboy by Céline Sciamma Playing the tomboy card for all its worth, Sciamma wonderfully captures the joys of childhood, burgeoning sexuality and the close bond between the two sisters in a series of beautifully natural playtime scenes. Yet this is also a film in which certain narrative strands are purposely put on hold for awhile, as the nature of a school holiday and the way in which new found friends are kept at a distance from family, allows for the sexual masquerade to continue for many a reel, even if it was only a matter of time before facts of life come into play, giving way to a series of subtle scenes in which "Mikael" is forced to deal with the reality of the situation.

How they are dealt with crosses over into aspects of human sexuality, in this well observed feature that has the words "global charmer" stamped all over it, even if Malonn Lévana as adorably sweet six-year-old Jeanne comes close to stealing the spotlight from star of the show Zoé Héran; brilliant in both male and female forms. Simply heartwarming.

Gay Visibility - none. 
Nudity - subtle. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk.
available on DVD as part of the Peccadillo Pictures catalogue: 05.March.2012 / UK.
starring: Zoé Héran / Laure - Mikael, Malonn Lévana / Jeanne, Jeanne Disson / Lisa, Sophie Cattani /
the Mother, Mathieu Demy / the Father, Rayan Boubekri / Rayan, Yohan Vero / Vince,
Noah Vero / Noah, Cheyenne Lainé / Cheyenne, Christel Baras / Lisa's Mother
and Valérie Roucher as Rayan's Mother.
official website:
Copyright 2012 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #459
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