With her Cannes Best Screenplay-winner Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Celine Sciamma (Water Lillies, Girlhood) has moved to the front rank of world filmmakers. So there’s no better time to catch up with her tender, heartfelt and timely second feature.
Ten year old Laure isn’t like most girls. She prefers football to dolls and sweaters to dresses. When she moves with her family to a new neighbourhood, life remains much the same. But with her hair cut short, Laure is mistaken by a local for a boy. Indulging in this exciting new identity, Laure becomes Michael, and so begins a summer of long sunny afternoons, playground games and first kisses. Yet with the school term fast approaching, and with suspicions arising amongst friends and family, Laure must face up to an uncertain future.
Eschewing the more polemical aspects of identity politics, Sciamma’s sensitive drama instead focuses on a young girls confusion when confronted with rigid gender conventions. By turns funny and moving, and never less than authentic, it’s a beautifully understated drama by a hugely talented writer-director.
★★★★ - David Fear, Time Out
★★★★★ "Beautifully observed" - Tim, Robey, The Telegraph