Summer in a new suburb outside Paris. Nothing to do but look at the ceiling. Marie, Anne and Floriane are 15. Their paths cross in the corridors at the local swimming pool, where love and desire make a sudden, dramatic appearance.
A girl with few real prospects joins a gang, reinventing herself and gaining a sense of self confidence in the process. However, she soon finds that this new life does not necessarily make her any happier.
Scrappy, willful, and fiercely self-reliant spitfire hoyden automobile mechanic Tomasina 'Tommy' Boyd develops a huge crush on cocky race car driving dreamboat hunk Randy Starr after ... See full summary »
Ludovic is a transgender girl who is coming out. She talks of marrying her neighbor's son and can not understand why everyone is so surprised about it. Her family and neighbors struggle ... See full summary »
Georges Du Fresne,
"Water Lilies" is the story of Richard, a psychiatrist, and the intertwined lives of his three patients. Katherine, a schoolteacher, complains of the affairs she's having. John, a surgeon, ... See full summary »
Three days in the lives of four friends on the streets of East London. Girlfriends Liza and Sally have a band to pull together and a birthday to celebrate, yet from this moment on their lives will change forever.
Kai Brandon Ly
Johanna limits her visits in the apartment where live her mother and her sister Laura. Since the divorce of her parents, the family relationship clearly degraded After a tense weekend, ... See full summary »
Hershell & Thadeus, two chess-playing brothers and their unhealthy rivalry over both the chessboard and a woman. Hershell is a chess purist, the prodigal son, Thadeus a disciplined, ... See full summary »
A family moves into a new neighborhood, and a 10-year-old named Laure deliberately presents as a boy named Mikhael to the neighborhood children. It is heavily implied that Mikhael is a closeted transgender boy. This film follows his experiences with his newfound friends, his potential love interest, Lisa, his younger sister and his parents. It focuses in on the significance of gender identity in social interaction from an early age, the difficulties of being transgender and young, and how Mikhael navigates these in the background of childhood play and love. Written by
Script written from April 2010. The main actress was found on the first day of casting. The film was shot in twenty days in August 2010 with a crew of fourteen. See more »
After the fight over the attack on Jeanne - which Laure wins, we see Laure attentively dressing the graze on Jeanne's knee, and adding a blue-coloured sticking plaster (Band-Aid).
In the next scene, when (the un-named) mother finds out that Laure has been passing herself off as a boy, she demands that Laure wear a dress, when they both go to the neighbour to apologise.
Laure is sitting on the bed with Jeanne, but all traces of Jeanne's knee injury, and even the sticking plaster, have disappeared. See more »
Are you looking for the others? I noticed you looking at them. They already left. Are you new around here?
Yeah, we got in yesterday.
I'm Lisa. I live here.
No, I'm not.
Won't you tell me your name?
Mikael, my name is Mikael.
See more »
Written by Jean-Baptiste de Laubier and 'Jéröme Echenoz'
Published by Because Editions/Institubes Publishing/Copyright Control
This small independent film was made for peanuts (Filmed on a Canon 5D and just a handful of people in the crew) and it is probably unlikely to make any big impact on the box-office. However I'm sure it'll leave a mark on those few who will actually manage to see it.
Zoé Héran is absolutely wonderful as Laure, the 10 years old girl who's just moved into a new neighbourhood where nobody knows her and pretends to be a boy (Michaël) with her new friends. Her performance is one of the best of the year, and possibly among the best ever performances by a child: she not only perfectly captures that innocence that children of that age have, but at the same time she seems to have a deep understanding of the struggle and the pain of her character. Throughout the film she really acts as if she was a real boy in a way that's so believable that at some point I really started to wonder whether "she" was actually a real "he". The film knows that and it does play with you by stretching the lie as far as it possibly can, until it decides to show you the real truth in a beautifully handled scene where you do actually see briefly the girl naked. It's a fleeting moment and the film obviously doesn't linger on it, but it's enough to put our minds at rest so that we can carry on enjoying the rest of the story.
The director Céline Sciamma's ability to film children making it look real is incredible. It feels effortless as if the camera was one of the children themselves and we as the audience are left observing them playing in the forest as if we were spying on them, or as if it was all a documentary. Rarely I have seen scenes with such young children that feel so honest and real: the approach is subtle and light, the atmosphere is almost muted, dialogue to advance the story is used to a minimum and the silences are charges with meaning and intensity. This is a subject that rarely makes the news, let alone the movie theatres. And it's so refreshing not just to see it depicted in this film, but to have it told with such an understanding, honesty and open-mindedness. All this together with the stellar acting from little Zoé make the internal drama of Laure/Michaël even more poignant and powerful. Be warned, this is a slow film (a very short one too at only 82 minutes), that has "French independent" written all over it, from its pace, to its rough look and its lack of music score, but if you, like me, love films about children growing up, this sensitive, tender and never heavy- handed story might just melt your heart too.
I saw it months ago and I still remember it vividly, so it must have worked on me.
37 of 40 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?