Published: 2021-09-12 14:40:10
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The elder sister, Laure, is a little “different”. Not much attention is given to her at first until her “differences” start to cause problems in the neighborhood, and for the family. Laure is a tomboy, which by definition is: “an energetic, sometimes boisterous girl whose behavior and pursuits are considered more typical of a boy than a girl”. Laure is not only like this with her behavior, but also with her appearance! If the information of her being female was not splayed to the viewer in the film, it wouldn’t be apparent she was a girl. At first, it seems as though she sees herself as a female, but dresses and acts like a boy.
But, once the neighborhood kids mistake her for a boy, she fills the role and does everything in her power to make sure it stays that way, whether it be by lying, hiding, changing her name, altering her body, or mimicking the behavioral or realational values of a male. A main point in the film is that Laure made a friend, a female friend named Lisa, and nobody thought, not even Laure, that she’d ever have a female companion besides her little sister. Laure walked, talked, and dressed like a boy, and told everybody she had a boy’s name. It was pretty obvious that everybody took a liking to “him”.
Childhood love soon bloomed, but, let’s not forget the fact that Laure is actually a girl. Laure has a loving family. At the age of six, Jeanne, Laure’s younger sister is dragged into the situation. She is wildly confused by her sister’s behavior, it seems at one out, but unusually accepting of it at the same time. When the odds of her deceiving behavior stack against her, Laure finds herself having to face her peers, and a bewildered mom who asks her, “Why did you tell everyone in the neighborhood you were a boy? ”, and a frazzled and upset Laure just looks up at her mom and says, “I don’t know”.
In a child’s mind, what could they be thinking? She is only ten, in yet, has spun herself into something so complicated that even adults, cultures, and societies still cannot grasp it. My inquiry is: What compels Laure to do this? Why would she pretend to be a boy? The world today has many contemporary issues. Many times in the movie the issue of sexuality is breached. In “Tomboy”, it is highly implied that the main character, Laure, may be a closeted transgender boy; She, of course ,does not understand this. In the film, when the way she thinks and feels is challenged by her peers and family, Laure becomes very upset.
My point being that something so complex to understand, and then be able to put it on a big screen, had to take some amazing actors. The majority of the cast were children, and I could honestly say the thespians of the screenplay were so superb with their acting, that this movie could be mistaken for a visual documentary instead of a fiction film. The setting is summertime in modern day France right outside of Paris in a small neighborhood. This setting is so fitting for this type of heart-warming drama. Summer in France is fun and festive, and it enjoys pleasantly hot temperatures, and experiences occasional rain showers in the night.
Expect to see beautiful flowers blooming and exquisite gardens. In the film, the child would roam about the woods near the home, giving the viewer multiple chances to see the beautiful trees, and weather of France! When watching this display of gorgeous visuals and the seemingly relaxed atmosphere, it gives you the illusion that the small area of complexes holds no secrets, and the summer is lazy, serene and full of fun! Like the children in the movie, after seeing the scenery, all I wanted to do was go down to the creek, and bask in the warm afternoon sun.
Like the director’s debut film, “Water Lilies”, “this film deals with early formative concepts of gender in a truly beautiful, emotive, captivating and accurate way”. Both films were also primarily about females. Although the films were similar on the storyline concept, they were also very different. In the film “Tomboy”, it was implied that the main character, Laure, had done some similar behavior as such before, as her little sister, Jeanne, threatened to tell their mom that Laure was “acting like a boy”.
The main female character in the film “Water Lilies”, was friends with her companions in the film for years, it was portrayed as it was because they’d been on a competing swim team together. Her exploration of this concept seemed to be totally new, and very much unintended. Overall, I liked “Tomboy” better as a movie, because it was just so tender and warming, whereas “Water Lilies” was, in a way, awkward. The movie definitely puts an interesting aspect on a troublesome issue in society, international film critic, John Frosch, states, “Brisk, Precisely observed, and bracingly non-preachy in its examination of a very tricky subject. I couldn’t have agreed more with his statement, simply because this is a very slippery subject. New York Times critic, Manohla Dargis, disagrees on the films superb approach, “The story that emerges in programmatic and largely unsurprising, but these children give it messiness, joy, and life. I can’t say I agree with her whole statement, but at least she acknowledges that the children did a phenomenal job with acting.
The film to me is beautifully and daringly crafted because it implies that sometimes these things are judged in ways they shouldn’t be when it is not fully understood. Laure cannot comprehend the “troubles” society and her culture may give her, she doesn’t even understand why she acted this way. So, how can anyone judge her actions? Furthermore, I want to say again that the story, acting, and setting of this film was marvelous, and the film is an absolute must see for anyone who understands the value of the simplicity of childhood.

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