Kathryn Schroeder of FilmFracture writes: "Laure's family has recently moved to a new suburb in France. With her short blonde hair and ambiguous features it is unclear on first meeting Laure on screen if she is indeed a boy or a girl. This of course begs the question, "what makes a person look like a boy or a girl?" Laure prefers the walls of her bedroom to be blue, and her parent't happily oblige. She wears long shorts and t-shirts, never a dress. Her short cropped hair is typical for a boy of her age, as is her lack of girly attributes like barrettes. When she speaks her voice does not carry high or low, with no indicative speech markers of either gender. But Laure is a girl by birth, she just happens to not outwardly portray feminine characteristics and in turn her first meeting with a local girl, Lisa, results in the misunderstanding that Laure is indeed a boy; and she does nothing to correct the situation."
The Assignment, (re)Assignment, Tomboy, or whatever it's called, is incompetent, incoherent and indecipherable dribble.
It's hard enough on a kid to move to a new town and deal with trying to fit in and make friends. On top of that, Laure (Zoé Héran) is struggling to figure out exactly who she is and how to be that person. An androgynous ten year old girl, in "Tomboy" she takes the opportunity provided by her fresh start to create a new identity, that of a boy named Mikael. The ruse works well enough over the summer, but what will happen when school starts and Mikael has to go back to being Laure?
SunTimes: The first shot is disconcerting. The camera is close to a wind-swept head and shoulders floating through space and backdropped by sky, clouds and trees. We're eventually shown that this is a child standing up through a car's open sunroof. Because the title "Tomboy" gives it away, we know this person with the close-cropped hair is a girl. Otherwise, there's no telling; she's 10, that pre-adolescent age when many children seem suspended between genders.