Tomboy is the second feature film from French director Céline Sciamma at its heart is a ten year old girl Laure who one summer decides to become a boy Mikael.
We follow her early attempts to make friends with new playmates who assume that the new arrival on the estate is a boy because of the way they are dressed and we watch as the child experiments with playing football without a shirt on and kissing a girl.
More than anything else the film evokes an untroubled idyllic childhood as the children play in the woods and swim in the lake.
We don’t know why Laure chooses to be a boy perhaps because she simply wants to do boyish things. As adults we may assume she will become a lesbian or is actually trans- gendered but what Sciamma does is to leave those questions unanswered because what matters is that the child is happy.
As with her first film Water Lilies the cast is made up of very talented young actors particularly Zoe Heran as Laure/Mikael and Malonn Levana who plays her adorable but knowing kid sister
The film is beautifully shot with warm green scenery and a sense of bright sunshine it will make you smile no matter what your view on gender politics.
Now showing at the Curzon Soho until the 22nd Sept.
Review by Wanda Goldwag