Limited theatrical release (playing at the DCA, Dundee, Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds and Corner House Manchester until the 29th September) but released on DVD and Blueray in February 2012, currently listed on Amazon.co.uk at £10.93 and £12.93 respectively. Peccadillo Pictures.
Pecadillo Pictures: http://www.peccapics.com/View/id,244
Times Observer review: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/sep/17/tomboy-review
Incredibly well acted by the young lead, (but equally so by the other members of the cast, resulting in a very realistic view of children and their immediate interactions with each other). Her trepidation and indecision was palpable as was her elation when she was consistently accepted in the role she had set out to achieve for herself. It was only when her play started to fall through did any sort of disbelief arise, and then only because the idea had been planted within the group. It was never due to implicit discovery of her otherness or lack of maleness by the group she was a part of.
A very short and concise film though I do feel that it would have been interesting to see how the reveal played out further, perhaps in the new school setting, where she’d know some children and not know others. Whether the information that she had deceived the boys would percolate throughout the rest of her year group.
I love that this film was about the innocence of the group and of the deception, there was no maliciousness in Laure’s actions and certainly no initial thought of consequences. Equally the film itself played on the innocence of the pre-teen cast/ characters with no voyeurism intended or discomfort or inappropriateness where it could very easily and quickly have been made to be seen that way. I really liked the lack of manipulation or attempt to take away that innocence, which made it all the more possible to genuinely view the film from the viewpoint of Laure/Mikael which was (I believe, at least I certainly perceived it as such) the intention.
I liked that it was mostly about the children and their reactions with only nominal parental intervention and that only near the end of the film. The adults are the ones who make the children aware of the reality of Laure and generally interfere with both positive and negative results and reasons for intervention.
I found this film far sadder than I could possibly have anticipated, though not sad, just… you felt for her during her reveal, that that was really not what she wanted, but she had got to a point with school around the corner it was going to become an issue whether she wanted it to or not.
Actually, seeing the way Laure reacted to being ‘mistaken’ and then revealed as herself made me think more about myself and my identity, to that end I found the film a little close to the bone as it were. Some of it felt uncomfortable because of my feelings towards my self in similar, but older situations.
Definately worth watching and I am certainly putting the DVD on my wishlist for when it comes out.