Tomboy attempts to offer a delicate view about sexual identity by the story of a 10 year old child named Laure that assumes the name of Michael, telling the new friends in the new neighborhood that he is a boy. The use of beautiful, evocative images, a incredible protagonist, a close look to his family, a playful yet delicate pace... all that transport us to the perception what that kid is going through.
The thing is that, for me, Céline Sciamma, that tells this story by her writing and direction, is not so sure about what she actually thinks about the subject. Her characters are so humane, close to us, as if we were another neighbor of them, passing by their lives as the other characters. But some relations are not solid here, as lost on the director's uncertainty about it. One example is the role of Michael's father: they're so close, but during the most difficult time for him, his dad is absent. I don't understand it. It is almost like Sciamma wants to tell a strong story, but was not able to fully commit to it. The ending is a bit problematic too, although it leaves a clue about what is true and important there. It allows us to reach our own conclusions, but even if it is admirable in a movie, still I felt like something was absent.
Michael's mother's reactions are believable and understandable. We are tempted to judge her, but one thing that the movie makes clear is that there's no way we could do that. I praise this choice, but it doesn't diminish the fact that Michael's story seems sometimes more of a means to an end than a true tale about one realizing his true identity.
|Amazing young actors <3|
Tomboy. Directed and written by Céline Sciamma. With: Zoé Heran, Maionn
Lévana, Jeanne Disson. France, 2011, 82 min., Dolby Digital, Color (Netflix).