Lukas Dhont got his inspiration for the film in 2009 when he read a newspaper article about a Belgian girl assigned male at birth who aspired to become a ballerina. In 2018, she attended the Cannes premiere. See more »
The movie's title is not shown until the start of the end credits. See more »
'Girl' was a sensation in Cannes and received rave reviews in the Flemish press. This film is about a teenage girl who wants to be a ballet dancer, but is born with the body of a boy. It is based on a real life story about a transgender ballet dancer, who has publicly endorsed the film.
The film shows the anguish the girl feels about being stuck in the wrong body. She almost can't wait to get female curves. Although she looks very feminine and has the support of everyone around her, the whole process causes severe emotional problems. Moreover, her ballet classes are extremely hard and she isn't exactly an excellent pupil.
The film succeeds in showing what a girl like her has to go through. But nevertheless, I was a bit dissapointed after having seen the film. Apart from the transgender theme, there is not much moving the story forward from a dramatic point of view. A lot of scenes show the ballet classes, and after a while they don't offer anything new to the story. The same goes for the conversations between the girl and the medical team. The doctors encourage her to be patient, she reacts by not saying much in reply. In order to add any dramatic evolution into the screenplay, there is a very shocking incident at the very end. But to me, this felt forced, out of place and overdone. (This scene is, by the way, not based on a real life event).
The lead actor, Victor Polster, is in a way perfect for the role because he has the right androgyn looks. He is also convincing as a shy teenager, not feeling comfortable with a lot of things in life. But on the other hand I found his acting a bit restrained and one-dimensional, he showed little emotion.
The film received criticism for being too obsessed with the physical aspects of being a transgender, and not enough with the emotional side of it. I think this is beside the point, because the only question that really should matter is: is this a good film? My answer to that question is: yes, but not as good as the hype around it makes us believe.
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