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Tomboy (2012)

Sophie Cattani , Jeanen Disson , Céline Sciamma  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sophie Cattani, Jeanen Disson, Malonn Lévana, Zoé Heran, Mathieu Demy
  • Directors: Céline Sciamma
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Wolfe Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2012
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007OXB1H2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,249 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews


TOMBOY has more depth and heart than perhaps any film in the last several years. Allison McCulloch, Time Out New York TOMBOY stands out as an especially affecting delicacy about the thrills and pitfalls of exploring who one is. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times --Wolfe

Product Description

In Tomboy, filmmaker Céline Sciamma s (Water Lilies ) second feature, a family with two daughters, 10-year-old Laure and 6-year-old Jeanne, moves to a new suburban neighborhood during the summer holidays. With her Jean Seberg haircut and tomboy ways, Laure is immediately mistaken for a boy by the local kids, and decides to pass herself off as Mikael, a boy different enough to catch the attention of leader of the pack Lisa, who becomes smitten. At home with her parents and girlie younger sister, she is Laure: hanging out with her new pals and girlfriend, she is Mikael. Finding resourceful ways to hide her true self, Laure takes advantage of her new identity, as if the end of the summer would never reveal her unsettling secret.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Tomboy is an extraordinary little film from France that is really worth tracking down and seeing, partly because of the manner in which Céline Sciamma - who directed and also wrote the screenplay - has crafted a film that unfolds in such an unaffected and natural way that it feels like you're actually watching a slice of life, and partly because of the truly amazing performance by the girl, Zoé Héran, who plays the film's title character.

Because of the title, Tomboy (which is in fact the title it was originally released under in France), we know exactly what to expect. So when the film begins with what appears to be a ten-year-old boy (Zoé Héran) riding in a car with his father (Mathieu Demy), we already know that he is in fact a she, the proverbial tomboy who prefers to look and act like one of the boys. But as they head towards the new town where her family is moving to and where her mother (Sophie Cattani) and six-year-old younger sister Jeanne (Malonn Lévana) are already waiting in their new apartment, we are gradually and subtly drawn in to the illusion, particularly when the father indulgently lets the 'boy' sit in his lap and steer the car. We still know that it's a girl, but in her appearance and manner, we need no convincing that she could easily be mistaken for a boy.

When the girl (we later learn her name is Laure) starts exploring her new neighborhood, she sees a group of neighbor kids playing and goes to join them. The first one she meets is a girl her own age named Lisa (Jeanne Disson). Acting purely on an impulse, Laure introduces herself as Mikael, adopting a boy's name to go with her boyish appearance and manner. And it is as Mikael that she's accepted, crossing the gender boundary from girl to boy.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It breaks my heart... July 11, 2012
Childhood is such a tricky time in one's life. You are bombarded with feelings you don't wholly understand and these feelings can grow into something that haunts you as an adult. What should otherwise be a carefree and joyous time in one's life can become an internalized nightmare for those unable or unwilling to explore their own emotional complexities; and what child is up for that task? I am still grappling with elements of my own childhood, moments in time that confuse me still, and I'm nearly thirty years of age. While watching a film like `Tomboy' I'm literally reduced to tears because I see so much of me and so much of my own confused childhood that I can only wish for something easier for my own children.

And yet, does easy really sculpt an adult?

`Tomboy' tells the story of ten-year-old Laure. Laure, while female, choses to identify as a male. She dresses like a boy, walks like a boy, acts like a boy. She even sits like a boy. Because of this, she is mistaken by a neighbor girl named Lisa FOR a boy. Instead of correcting her, Laure tells her that her name is Mikael and from that moment forward she does everything she can to keep up the façade, not for one second assuming the consequence of being found out once school starts. Instead, she spends her summer days playing ball with the neighborhood boys and forming a crush (that is reciprocated) on Lisa. The two bond rather quickly, but there is just no avoiding the inevitable.

I'm yelling SPOILERS because I honestly cannot review this without some.

With painstaking subtlety and beauty, Celine Sciamma tackles a very delicate yet weighty subject and delivers one of the finest films of this new decade.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Children and Their Peers Coping Better then Adults April 28, 2012
TOMBOY is a rare gem of a film. Writer/Director Céline Sciamma has created a story that is as genuinely tender about a subject that is becoming more discussed - transgender journeys - that in addition to being a film of brilliance it also demonstrates that in many ways, children deal with variations of normal better than adults. Sciamma presents this fact in such a subtle manner that it is only in retrospect that the impact of the film is comprehended.

A very loving family - the pregnant mother (Sophie Cattani), the tender father (Mathieu Demy), and two daughters - have just moved into a new neighborhood during the summer months. The younger daughter Jeanne (Malonn Lévana) is full of joy and creativity and is devoted to her older sister Laure (Zoé Héran - an extraordinary young actress). Laure dresses as a boy and going out to meet the new neighbors changes names to Michaël. Though shy and obviously fearful of how the others will perceive, Michaël is for all intents and purposes a boy. He joins in games with the other boys, meets a young girl Lisa (Jeanne Disson) who obviously is infatuated with Michaël, and retaining `his' nature as a boy he enhances his swimsuit with a creation of clay so that he will appear male to all. Lisa visits Michaël but only Jeanne is home and when Lisa asks for Michaël, Jeanne intuitively covers for Michaël. Jeanne thus wins Michaël's trust and is allowed to accompany him when he goes out to play with his new friends. Jeanne is happy to be a part of Michaël's secret. But when a fight occurs as Michaël struggles with Rayan (Rayan Boubekri) in defense of Lisa, Rayan's mother confronts Michaël's mother and Michaël's secret is out.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars For Kids who Feel Different from Others!
Without spoiling the film for others who have yet to see it, I will not go into much specifics.
A girl dresses up like a boy when her parents move to a new part of... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Gabrielle
5.0 out of 5 stars A coming-of-age tale with a twist
This movie expands on the traditional coming-of-age genre of a pre-teen finding his or her place in the world in that the title character is exploring not only a newfound sense of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good
Published 1 month ago by raymond bailey
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow paced, but appropriate for the story
The first third to first half of the movie would be a little boring if you did not already know from the title that "Mickael" was a girl. Read more
Published 1 month ago by John Black
5.0 out of 5 stars Joy returns to cinema
One of the best pieces of cinema I've seen since Bergman. A masterpiece.
Published 1 month ago by Rev Kev
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching
A touching story, very well presented. The cinematography was quite well done -- audio less so. There were multiple points where the dialog was inaudible. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Bob
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting. Not great, but interesting.
A controversial film, primarily because the lead character was an underage girl that had like two or three scenes with her shirt off. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jonathon Jones
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Wasn't as exciting as I though it was gone be
Published 2 months ago by Lonny
5.0 out of 5 stars Mom of FTM transgender teen
We laughed and cried. I would never have hurt my child that way though. We find solutions that make him comfortable.
Published 2 months ago by Holly Patterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing
I don't think I have ever seen a movie that tells this particular story in such a simple, innocent and tasteful way. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Irene
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