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Tomboy (2011)



Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 62
Fresh: 60 | Rotten: 2

In tune with the emotion and tribulations of childhood, Tomboy is a charming movie that treats its main subject with warmth and heart.


Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 24
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 1

In tune with the emotion and tribulations of childhood, Tomboy is a charming movie that treats its main subject with warmth and heart.



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Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 7,599

My Rating

Movie Info

A French family with two daughters, 10-year-old Laure and 6-year-old Jeanne, moves to a new 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 passes herself off as Michael. Filmmaker Céline Sciamma brings a light and charming touch to this drama of childhood gender confusion. Zoe Heran as Laure/Michael and Malonn Levanna as Jeanne are nothing less than brilliant. This is a relationship movie:


Art House & International, Drama

Céline Sciamma

Jun 5, 2012


Dada Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (62) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (60) | Rotten (2) | DVD (1)

Tomboy is a lovely reminder that the French have long been famous for a quite different sort of film-about children.

June 19, 2013 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Brisk, precisely observed, and bracingly non-preachy in its examination of a very tricky subject.

March 7, 2012 Full Review Source: The Atlantic
The Atlantic
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Writer and director Celine Sciamma adorns the thorny dilemma with resonant allusions to gender roles...

January 27, 2012 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Modestly conceived and executed.

January 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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"Tomboy" is tender and affectionate.

January 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Tomboy," a brief and sweetly refreshing French film, is the story of a lie.

January 5, 2012 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Since we are dealing with fresh-faced tweens, we are spared the gender histrionics to be found in the likes of The Crying Game or Boys Don't Cry. Those are indeed bigger films. But sometimes small things can pay off quite nicely.

November 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

Far from surprising at any point, Tomboy nonetheless holds one's attention though its sheer force of observation.

July 24, 2012 Full Review Source:

The director's low-key approach to such a seemingly complex topic really illuminates the subject in both very basic and rather profound ways.

July 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Knight at the Movies
Knight at the Movies

'Tomboy' makes its points about gender identity and confusion without resorting to cheap laughs or overwrought drama.

May 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

This exquisite film is as pure as you can get; it's observational, it's minimalist, there's no intrusive music except where it is part of the action.

March 28, 2012 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

Sweet and well observed, the film takes us inside a typical family in a typical Paris suburb - and gives us a spin

March 24, 2012 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Sciamma's capturing of children at play is disarmingly accurate, perfectly showing the freewheeling nature of prepubescence in all its glory.

March 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

The film's greatest accomplishment is writer/director Celine Sciamma's stunning ability to draw natural, believable performances from her adolescent cast, who never hit a false note in this moving film.

January 26, 2012 Full Review Source:

"Tomboy" is so specific and intuitive that I kept thinking, "How do the filmmakers know this stuff?"

December 15, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Tomboy captures a delicate moment in time before issues of sexuality so much more complicated and calculated.

December 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

As the sisters come to see that dresses and haircuts and behaviors are a means to create a self, to communicate with others, Tomboy doesn't offer an easy answer; instead, it lets you wonder why gender must be so definitive.

December 7, 2011 Full Review Source: PopMatters

...a well-intentioned yet hopelessly inert piece of work.

December 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews | Comment (1)
Reel Film Reviews

Audience Reviews for Tomboy

These kids and the script are incredibly charming. Instantly makes the reader empathize with issues in gender confusion and root for the protagonist to maintain his perception of himself.
July 29, 2012
Letitia Lew

Super Reviewer

An honest drama that raises some interesting questions about sexual identity and why genders are supposed to be important. Sciamma directs her film with simplicity, using a naturalistic direction to approach this delicate subject, observing the characters and leaving an appropriate open ending.
January 19, 2012

Super Reviewer

In "Tomboy," 10-year old Laure(Zoe Heran) moves to a new neighborhood with her parents(Sophie Cattani & Mathieu Demy) and younger sister Jeanne(Malonn Levana). While looking out from an apartment window one pleasant afternoon, Laure sees a group of boys playing out in the park. When she finally leaves her sister and sleeping, very, very pregnant mother behind in the apartment, the boys are gone, with only Lisa(Jeanne Disson), a girl of her age, left behind in their wake. Laure introduces herself as Mikael and they run after them together, so they can join in the fun.

With that simple, elegant setup, writer-director Celine Sciamma tells an evocative and naturalistic genderblender with a very belieable sibling relationship. Sadly, the movie eventually runs straight into a narrative wall. Until then, Laure is not just being a tomboy; she is passing as a boy but not 24/7, so we'll keep to the feminine pronouns.(Actually, it is not until later that she is revealed not to be a boy.) She does this to enjoy the freedoms that boys enjoy but is too young to realize the minefield of gender that she has just walked into. That's where parents come in, as the movie smartly shows how parents help to shape their children's gender.
November 29, 2011
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

You rarely see a film centred on a young girl figuring out gender issues. In that regard, Sciamma's film is fascinating as is the reaction of the children she engages with.
July 11, 2014
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

    1. Laure / Michaël: Don't cut too much or my Mum will notice.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
    1. Lisa: Are you new around here?
    2. Laure / Michaël: Yeah, we got in yesterday.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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