As with most lies, few ever remain undiscovered. But for the moment, we are with Mikael — falling in love with his quiet, soft nature. At home, Mikael is a tender older sister and a non-rebellious daughter. Outside of the home, Mikael is different and mysterious enough to attract the attention of the group’s leader, Lisa. But the tragedy is knowing — though Mikael may be in denial — that the lie must be short-lived. There is an impending doom that covers the entire film, the doom of “getting found out.” Gender issues may not affect us all, but fitting-in because of or in spite of our identity is a constant, common struggle. And that’s where we fall more deeply in love with Mikael. He is us, and we are him
Tomboy is a beautiful film dominated by three perfectly-executed child performances, a prepubescent Boys Don’t Cry without all the death and rape and Hillary Swank. It’s certainly quieter as most European dramas tend to be. But take a chance. Falling in love with Zoe Heran’s Mikael is certainly worth it. Even if he’s only a mirage.