A family moves into a new neighborhood, and a 10-year-old born Laure deliberately presents as a boy named Mickäel to the neighborhood children. It is heavily implied that Mickäel 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 Mickäel navigates these in the background of childhood play and love.Written by
The scene, so delicate, of the nakedness of Laure and the revelation resulting from it, has been conscientiously put in place by Céline Sciamma. This scene is fundamental and Zoé Héran, from the script, knew she would have to shoot naked. Her parents were present at the time of filming and this intense moment could only exist in the image if they gave their agreement in view of the filmed sequence. 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 »
La mère de Lisa:
La mère de Lisa:
Come here. This is Mickäel's mum. She's come here to say Mickäel is not actually Mickäel but a girl, not a boy. She's waiting for you in the kitchen.
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Laure, the tomboy of the title, moves because of Dad's job to a new neighbourhood and has to negotiate the minefield of finding new friends. With her short-cropped hair and boyish looks, it is easy for Laure to pass herself off as a boy. So she does. Existing as Mikael, she digs a hole deeper and deeper for herself during summer holidays. With the start of school approaching, friendships made and romances embarked upon, something has to give.
The film works in large part due to the casting. Zoé Héran as Laure / Mikael is so convincing as a boy that when she does finally don a dress it just looks... wrong. A double for a young Sting, she has an easy charisma and strong expression that makes her every move unmissable. Mikael is befriended by Lisa, a precocious Jeanne Disson, and young love blossoms in bizarre circumstances. As strong as these two performances are, Malonn Lévana Malonn as Laure's little sister Jeanne steals every scene she is in. Given a secret to keep half-way through, she crackles and delights every time you see her and wonder if she can keep the confidence.
As delightful as the children are, the theme of a young girl yearning to be a boy is presented but hardly explored. The film is episodic, one summer in the life of a mixed up girl. Laure's reasons for taking things so far are never dealt with beyond surface levels, and no resonance to wider concerns in society are present. The narrative strains with such insubstantial fare, but never breaks. Fans of such coming-of-age tales as Stand By Me or Yamada's Village of Dreams will enjoy this tale.
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