Starring: Zoe Heran, Malonn Levana, Jeanne Disson
Distributor: Rialto Films
Runtime: 82 mins. Reviewed in Apr 2012
At first glance, Laure (Zoe Heran) looks like a boy with her haircut, tee shirt and shorts. Actually, Laure likes to act like a boy and when she, her little (very feminine) sister and their parents move to a new home, Laure tells the children, mainly boys who are playing soccer, that her name is Mikael.
She should have known better and that it would all catch up with her. But she is only ten.
Mikael is accepted by the group. She plays well at soccer. And she gets the adoring gaze from the only other girl in the group, Lisa. For a while all goes well with her deception, though there is a crisis when the boys go off to pee and she goes into the woods. She even is able to persuade the little sister to be in on the pretence.
At one level, this is playful and charming. But, there is always the lurking fear, what happens when she is found out, how will she handle it. And what about the boys? And Lisa? And her parents?
Matters do come to a head when she has a fight with one of the boys whose mother comes for an apology.
The sequences where her mother makes Laure wear a dress and go to the boy’s home has its moments of delicacy and poignancy. The same with the hurt and disappointed Lisa.
Celine Sciamma, who directed another film about girls’ identity, Water Lillies, has created a memorable small film, which, with the completely believable performance from Zoe Heran, does communicate the feelings of a child who wants to be something other than what she is.
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