Tomboy (2011 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Céline Sciamma
Produced by Bénédicte Couvreur
Screenplay by Céline Sciamma
Starring Zoé Héran
Malonn Lévana
Jeanne Disson
Sophie Cattani
Mathieu Demy
Music by Para One
Cinematography Crystel Fournier
Edited by Julien Lacheray
Hold Up Films
arte France Cinéma
Distributed by Pyramide Distribution
Release dates
  • 20 April 2011 (2011-04-20)
Running time 82 minutes[1]
Country France
Language French
Budget 1 million
Box office US$129,834[2]

Tomboy is a 2011 French drama film written and directed by Céline Sciamma.[3] The story follows a 10-year-old girl named Laure who, after moving with her family to a new neighborhood, dresses as a boy and introduces herself to her new friends as Mikäel. The film opened to positive reviews, with critics praising the directing and the performers, particularly Zoé Héran as the lead.[4][5][6]


Laure is a 10-year-old girl who moves with her family to a new address in Paris. When she meets Lisa, a neighborhood girl, Laure introduces herself as Mikäel. With her androgynous look and boyish dress, it would be difficult to discern that she is a female. Lisa then introduces Mikäel to the rest of the neighborhood children stating that "he" is the new kid in the apartment complex. A bath scene in the film alerts viewers to the fact that "Mikäel" is female; the neighborhood children don't know the truth. At home, she is a girl known as Laure, but to the neighborhood children she is a boy known as Mikäel. Summer leads to the children in the building playing together a lot, leading to Lisa's feeling physically attracted to "Mikäel". After a fight between Mikäel and a boy in the apartment complex, the children learn that Mikäel is female; this causes her charade to fall apart.



The film explores a theme of ambiguous gender. Writer/director Céline Sciamma said, "The movie is ambiguous about Mikael's feelings for Lisa. It plays with the confusion. I wanted it to be that way."[7]


Tomboy earned very positive reviews. Earning 97% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a consensus saying, "In tune with the emotion and tribulations of childhood, Tomboy is a charming movie that treats its main subject with warmth and heart."[8]Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave 3.5 out of 4 stars, commenting that Tomboy is "tender and affectionate".[9]

Home media[edit]

Tomboy was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United Kingdom on 5 March 2012[10] and in the United States on 5 June 2012.[11]


  • Jury Award at the 2011 Teddy Awards, given for the best film with LGBT themes at the Berlin film festival.
  • Golden Duke, the main prize of the official competition of the 2011 Odessa International Film Festival.
  • Audience Award at the 2011 San Francisco Frameline Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.
  • Best Feature Film at the 2011 Philadelphia QFest Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
  • Competition at the 2011 Torino Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
  • Nominated for the GLAAD Media Award as Outstanding Film — Limited Release.
  • Héran won the Jury Award for Best Performance at the 2011 NewFest Film Festival.
  • Héran was nominated for the Young Artist Award as Best Leading Young Performer in an International Feature Film.[12]


External links[edit]