Despite ambitious and perfectly plausible in its complexity, the story could have taken the tension further, never entering into a thought-provoking territory. What I found most interesting here was the father/daughter relationship, while the rest remains standardized and somewhat guessable.
I went into this film knowing about its problematic call out by members of the trans community, and I can see why they are upset and called this film dangerous. The subject and the way it was presented was very cis and felt that the screenwriter didn't really consult the trans community at all when writing this film.
The fearless, nuanced and utterly vulnerable performance from the lead kept me glued to the screen throughout this timely examination of puberty, sexuality and the assumptions we often make. The dance sequences are raw and it's clear the filmakers built this film as a vehicle for building empathy. 4 stars
The film follows closely a young transexual transitioning from boy to girl and training as a ballet dancer. The convincing performance by the main actor as `Lara’ is simply mindblowing and the director shows real mastery and understanding of the topic. Impressive and recommended.
Frankly I will not talk about a topic that I don't have the most adequate knowledge but I feel its theme was too generalized in a too dramatic field. I'm not saying it's necessarily bad but perhaps the approach becomes too tragic and unhappy. I understand that it's a drama but I don't know, I'm just not satisfied with that approach. The film isn't bad, it's quite well done but I didn't like the narrative approach.
"A case of life", filmed as a television report - hand-held camera always chasing the actors to see (show) more, and more - that in the most journalistic (some will call it dramatic) scene, near the end (supposedly the plot climax) finds a formal subtlety, unusual for what until then occurred. Without a cinematic look almost no drama resists/exist and this one is no exception.
!SPOILERS! "Prove to me you're a girl by showing me your penis." This is the voice of the norm, insecure about gender (because gender is impossible to anchor, even to something as "objective" as sex); hence Lara poses a dire threat to their Symbolic. Lara's act of self-mutilation is also an act of self-determination: her agency is manifest in the negative, "I will be anything but a man." Astonishingly intimate.
Ambivalent experience. Somehow the combination of topics: trans, ballet school, single dad family and being in puberty was in itself complex enough and as a mix a bit odd. Even if there was a lot of understanding for Lara's situation, the film showed too many moments of violation, which made me feel uncomfortable.
Premier long métrage d'un jeune réalisateur flamand qui défraya la chronique cannoise et fut encensé dans quelques festivals, dont nous relèverons surtout l'extrême fluidité de la prise de vue et la généreuse prestation de son acteur principal, Victor Polster dont se sont les premiers pas (de danse) au cinéma... www.cinefiches.com
A subtle drama that develops slowly towards an ending that puts all the unexplained into context. Lara is so withdrawn that neither the father, the therapist nor the viewer can access her thoughts. Yet the movie’s not alienating, thanks to the main actor, whose performance is full of details and small gestures and suppressed feelings.