Seven-year-old Ludovic's determined to grow up a girl, which is hard on his family, who face the scorn of locals made uneasy by a sudden outbreak of non-conformism. This Belgian first feature evolves into a domestic battle of wills. Will Ludo deny his feelings and put the household back on an even keel, or can the grown-ups find the courage to accept their child, even if it makes them the black sheep of the community?
Child actor Georges Du Fresne's projection of innocence and absolute certainty drains away any suspicion that the film-makers might be using him to tell a story that's fundamentally about adult sexual confusions. It isn't. It's about a child's pre-sexual intimations of gender identity, as influenced by his favourite TV show, a pink extravaganza starring a sort of live-action Gallic Barbie doll. Wry comedy is certainly not precluded, while Laroque and the excellent Ecoffey make the parents' emotional confusion tell, but it's the film's combination of compassion and whimsical charm that makes it utterly disarming.