And the award for 2011’s loveliest film might just go to… Céline Sciamma’s scintillating autumnal comedy, ‘Tomboy’. While the psychosexual water-aerobic shenanigans of her 2007 film, ‘Water Lilies’, felt coloured by the work of French provocateur, Catherine Breillat, this gorgeous new miniature nods to the tender, free-spirited studies of corrupted youth by the Dardenne brothers. Coming across like a playground version of ‘Twelfth Night’, Zoé Héran is our heroine, astonishing in the dual role of gangly fourth-grader Laure and Mikael: she’s the former when at home with her doting parents and cherubic younger sister, but the latter when she wants to play football, tussle and kiss girls with the kids on her estate. Sciamma’s careful and detailed portrayal of a confused kid trapped in gender purgatory never lunges for the easy gag at the expense of psychological credibility. A scene where Laure makes a PlayDoh penis to wear down her trunks while swimming is a tightrope walked with estimable grace. Adorable.
Cast and crew