A gender non-conforming teenager prepares for imminent sex reassignment surgery whilst having to prove her credentials as a ballerina in Lukas Dhont’s strikingly assured debut feature, which resonates with empathy and respect for its bravely resilient heroine.
Admitted on a probationary basis to one of Belgium’s most prestigious ballet academies, Lara (Victor Polster) approaches her craft with punishing discipline, whilst becoming increasingly impatient with delays with her hormone therapy.
Anchored by stunning central performances by 15-year-old Victor Polster as Lara, and Arieh Worthalter as her concerned yet accepting single father Mathias, Dhont’s naturalistic film grows in power as Lara pushes herself to breaking point in her determination to excel and be accepted by her peers. Girl was the winner of the Queer Palme and Best Actor in the Un Certain Regard strand of last year’s Cannes Film Festival.
(Notes by David O’Mahony.)
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