Before you read my review, I want you to know- I'm a normal, straight, 65 year old man. My favorite movie genres are SF, action and horror. This is not a "chick-flic. Any intelligent person will enjoy this movie. And if you like children, all the better.
Really, really, really liked this movie. Great direction. Excellent, straightforward, rational script. Truly superb acting by all, especially Zoé Héran who played the lead, Laure / Michaël. Astonishing, especially considering her age. And the child who played her little sister (Malonn Lévana as Jeanne) was just adorable, and absolutely natural. It didn't "feel" as if she were acting. All the children in this movie were incredible. No other adequate description.
For me, it's very hard to describe this film in any simple way. Never before seen anything quite like it. Found it both engrossing and fascinating. And I came to sincerely care about, and like, Laure. No doubt, I'll remember this movie for a very long time.
I find myself hoping there will be a sequel to this movie (up to the same standard of excellence, of course. This was a great story. but things were getting seriously interesting when the film ended, alas.
Have to question the provided description. There was nothing accidental about Laure's identification as a boy. She intentionally introduced herself as Michaël to the new kids she met after her family's move. And she went to great lengths to maintain her male gender charade.
Also have some argument with comments in the provided storyline. I question whether or not trans-gender issues were actually intended or implied. Possible, I suppose. But I suspect, if anything, more of a vague subtext for viewer interpretation. I saw this as a story about a young girl who just wanted to play with the boys without being treated like a girl. out of curiosity, because she could, and because kids often do quirky, strange, even bizarre things in the process of growing up, maturing and figuring out who they are. Frankly, from what I've seen, it appears this often continues well into the teen years for a majority of children. I think most parents, as well as those of us who've been around for a while, would agree. But then again, I try not to over-think or psychoanalyze movies. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
P.S. In case your curious, this 9 star rating is usually as high as I go. I reserve 10 stars for true masterpieces and movies so outstanding in their genre they become standards by which others are measured, often for many decades thereafter.