Friday, September 23, 2011

An Unexpected Gem

Since I started the week with the Worst Movies Ever blogfest, I wanted this week's Friday movie review to be about a film that surprisingly captured my heart.

Both my husband and I were interested in seeing Tomboy, but it wasn’t high on our list and we didn’t really expect much. At one point, there was a conflict in our schedule and we considered skipping it. Fortunately, I’d overheard people in the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse recommending the film to others, saying how good it was, so we rearranged our schedules to see it.

Tomboy is a film about relationships, starring Zoe Heran as ten-year-old Laure, a girl who wishes she’d been born a boy. When she moves during the summer with her parents and six-year-old sister to a new suburb in Paris, Laure introduces herself to the other children as Michael.

Michael quickly becomes popular with the other kids, excelling at everything, and has everyone fooled.

Zoe Heran played the role with such subtlety, vulnerability, and sheer brilliance for her age that the audience soon forgets Michael is actually a girl while playing outside with the others. However, behind closed doors back at home, we are reminded of the character’s precarious predicament and her struggle to find new ways to overcome growing obstacles in leading a double life.

The character is so sympathetic you are compelled to root for her as she faces mounting complications such as peeing with the boys out in the woods, swimming which requires male trunks and a body part she wasn’t born with, and handling the advances of her friend, Lisa.

With each victory you are relieved she wasn’t caught, while knowing her charade can’t last forever, and the longer it continues the worse it will be when the truth is discovered.

I know foreign films aren’t for everyone, but this was one of the best movies I’ve seen this year with its strong script, touching performances, and vibrant cinematography. I highly recommend this French drama that stole my heart, nearly brought me to tears, and reminded me how grateful I am to have true friends.



Are you open to foreign films? Or do you pass regardless of genre? Is there anything on your movie list you plan to see this weekend?

38 comments:

  1. I haven't watched a foreign film in a while, but this one looks great.

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  2. I LOve foreign films with their different slant on life with rarely a happy ending. Haven't watched too many lately though. I'd love to check this one out.

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  3. ...while I have yet to hear of the movie Tomboy, it's fairly safe to admit that your choice of worst movies ever may in fact be the best list I've seen thus far. Well done ;)

    El

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  4. Miranda ~ Glad you watch foreign films. I think folks are really missing out when they choose to skip them.

    Em ~ I think you'd really enjoy this one. Give it a shot.

    Elliot ~ Thanks. I wish I hadn't forgotten to add Aliens 3 to the Worst Movies list. That one was such a disappointment. I guess I blocked it from my memory.

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  5. I haven't seen many foreign films, but the fact they're foreign doesn't put me off. It's usually my other half who says 'we should watch this' and he tend not to go for anything he has to read :-)

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  6. I'm totally open to foreign films and I would definitely see this, though I could see how it would be a heartbreaker.

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  7. I like foreign films as long as they are subtitled not dubbed. That girl really does look like a boy.

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  8. oh wow, I've never heard of this one! I'll have to ask the hubs about it!

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  9. That does sound like a good one.

    I do enjoy foreign films, though it can be annoying for me to have to focus on the subtitles. I feel like I miss a lot of the visual nuances of a film if there's a lot of dialogue I have to read.

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  10. I've never heard of it. But then I've not heard of most Hollywood movies either. I don't get out much. ;)

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  11. Definitely~! Like Alex said, as long as it's not dubbed.

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  12. Sarah ~ Then this might be one you watch on your own when he's doing something you're not interested in.

    Lydia ~ If you like foreign films and dramas that are a coming of age story, you'll love this.

    Alex ~ I can't watch it if they are dubbed. It feels ridiculous. I need subtitles for it to work for me.

    Katie ~ My husband enjoyed it as well.

    Linda ~ I know what you mean, especially if the dialogue is super fast. I like to soak it all in, the body language, the scenery, etc. But I would have missed some great films if I didn't care for foreign films.

    Stina ~ It just came out, so it's not surprising if most people haven't heard of it.

    Sabrina ~ I'm with both of you on that point.

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  13. Hi Isis. I'm here from Katie's (Creepy's) blog, and I'm now your newest follower.

    Nice to meet you!

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  14. I'm open to foreign films. Thanks for sharing this one with us. I'll go see if it is on Netflix.

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  15. Oh wow.. sounds excellent. A bit like "Boys Don't Cry." I'm always open to foreign films and am sad to say I don't get to see more of them. Thanks for the recommendation... will have to catch this one.

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  16. Sounds like a good movie. Haven't been inside a theatre in so long, it's embarrassing.

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  17. I don't tend to watch foreign films, but you have me hooked with your post. I'll have to find this one.

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  18. Hmmm - I don't think I've ever watched a foreign film! This sounds like a good one, though, and I'm intrigued to find out why she wished she'd been born a boy.

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  19. Lovely review..my husband is into foreign movies, me not so much :(...I should change that.

    ----

    Join me at the Rule of Three Writers' Blogfest!

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  20. Indie films are my favorite, along with foreign films. We have a small theater close to us that we go to enjoy these interesting, well written movies. I will look for this one.

    Last one I saw though was Sarah's Key. It was one of the most difficult films that I have ever seen. If I had known before how it would affect me, I would have never gone.

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  21. Isis, nice review of the movie. I haven't heard of this one. At 9 and 10 it's pretty easy to pass ones self off as the opposite sex and you might even last until 11 but after that it would harder. Interesting premise.

    I watch those foreign films that interest me. I'm not a big movie goer. I might catch one a month and usually something the guys want to watch. When I'm in the mood, I'll watch the DVDs or on the computer.

    Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

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  22. Oh wow. I usually skip foreign films because I'm expecting them to disappoint me, but I have to say this one sounds really good. I'll have to check it out. Thanks. Hope it's on Netflix. :)

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  23. What a great review. I'm going to have to check it out.

    I love a good foreign film. Especially Swedish movies. They are the best.

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  24. Oh, that sounds good. I haven't watched a good foreign film in a while. Thanks for sharing!

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  25. I love a good film period. This sounds like a good one to watch. I haven't watched anything with subtitles with my son. Sounds like a naptime movie.

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  26. I'm definitely open to foreign films this one sounds very intriguing.

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  27. Oh my, this is just my kind of movie. I watch tons of foreign films (well, I live in a "foreign" country, so that helps) and you're right, people miss out on fantastic stories when they restrict themselves to Hollywood.

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  28. Not just open to foreign films but make a habit of renting them, mostly anime since my daughter likes to watch them with me. But I have found that movies beyond the US have varying views that I can appreciate or can get something on screen that shines but won't cut it here in the states because it's not "trending" yet.

    Put it plainly, if it fits my tastes, foreign or not, I'll enjoy it.

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  29. I'll have to put this on my list. Sounds charming. thanks for highlighting it.

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  30. Matthew ~ So nice to meet you. Thanks for coming by. Will head to your blog.

    Ciara ~ Please check it out.

    PK ~ Hope you enjoy it.

    JL ~ Happens to the best of us.

    Brinda ~ Hope you'll give it a try.

    Crystal ~ Think she simply felt more comfortable acting as a boy.

    Damyanti ~ Your husband might like it.

    Starting Over ~ Oh goodness. I think I might pass on Sarah's Key.

    Sia ~ It was very well done.

    Laila ~ I'm pretty sure it will eventually come out on Netflix.

    F.E. ~ I've seen a few Swedish films I've thoroughly enjoyed.

    Christine ~ You are welcome.

    Stacy ~ As a mom, I think you might really like it.

    Steph ~ Truly is.

    Claudie ~ Many do miss out, but we each have our preferences.

    Angela ~ I'm the same way. Subtitles don't discourage me.

    M Pax ~You are welcome. Hope you enjoy it.

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  31. I'm not a lover of foreign films but I've hundreds. If I see a movie that looks interesting I'll watch it, don't care what the language is, kind of like reading the book with pictures flashing in the background. But if after ten minutes, I'm only reading because the dialogue is too stifled to follow the film simultaneously, I'm done.

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  32. It can be annoying when you can't follow along because the dialogue goes by too fast. So I prefer watching foreign films at home. That way if I need to go back and read something again or watch more body language I can.

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  33. I'm open to foreign films, though I don't have a great way to hear of them. I hadn't heard of this one before, but it sounds like a good movie. Already I feel vested in the character and wonder how it comes to a head. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  34. Shannon, you are welcome. Hope you enjoy it.

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  35. I FREAKING LOVE FOREIGN FILMS and that movie looks AWESOME. I will definitely go check it out. Thank you so much for sharing it.

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  36. This sounds like a do-not-miss film. I'm going to check it out! Thanks for the review.

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  37. i do love foreign films. this is one to watch out for. Thanks Isis

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