Review: GIRL Is A Touching Portrait Of An Identity Struggle

FIRST IMPRESSION

Girl is a well-made and thoughtful film that stands out from other similar films because of how introspective its story is.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

Girl is a new Belgian film co-written and directed by Lukas Dhont. The film tells the story of a fifteen-year-old transgender girl who dreams of becoming a ballerina. It debuted at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival to positive reviews and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

To address the elephant in the room — yes, there is a scene of full-frontal nudity from the underage protagonist. Was this an appropriate decision on the part of the director? No, probably not. Still, it is important to note that this film comes from another culture with different values. Many European cultures are more open about sexuality and nudity and less open with violence. The questionable scene can easily be skipped and should not damage the film as a whole.

The characters in the film are extremely compelling. The protagonist is a very interesting character and her arc is sympathetic. Audiences will easily sympathize with the character’s ambition and emotional journey and want her to succeed. The protagonist’s father is another interesting character. His storyline, while not as thoroughly developed or affecting as his daughter’s, is still likable and sympathetic.

girl dance studio

One of the things that makes this film stand out from other LGBTQ films is that it is mostly introspective. Most films about accepting one’s sexuality deal with the external conflicts that affect the character, like societal pressure. Girl instead focuses on the internal conflicts that the character faces relating to her identity and self-esteem. There are a few scenes in which the film does become less introspective — particularly one involving the character being bullied — but it soon recovers.

The film’s pacing is pretty strong too. It is contemplative, but not slow. There is enough tension and internal conflict in the film to keep the plot moving and make the story thoroughly interesting. Part of the way through the film, it seems like the story is about to come repetitive and redundant, but then there is a significant development that changes the direction.

girl class

The actors all do a great job in their roles. Although it would have been preferable for the role to be played by a transgender actress, Victor Polster does a great job in the lead role. He brings a lot of emotion to the character and delivers the dialogue quite well. Arieh Worthalter, who plays the protagonist, is excellent too. He makes the character resonate much more than it otherwise may have.

Visually, the film is absolutely phenomenal. The cinematography by Frank van den Eeden is truly beautiful. He did a particularly great job of capturing the dancing sequences. The shots are fluid and full of life in a way that is truly impressive. The dialogue-driven scenes are shot in a way that is subtle, yet still beautiful. There is a soft light radiating throughout the whole film.

Overall, Girl is a very good film. Although it may be mired by controversy, the cinematography is great and the story is important and touching.

Girl is in select theaters and on Netflix beginning March 15.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Christine’s Best Fashion From Selling Sunset | Netflix

Luxury, glamour, and style is Christine Quinn's thing. So we made a video highlighting some of her best moments in fashion. Check it out and let us know in the comments your favorite Christine look. Watch Selling Sunset, Only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81153216 SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with…

Dead Pixels | Legendary | Season Trailer | The CW

Dead Pixels premieres Tuesday, August 18. Stream next day free only on CW Seed! SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About The CW: Official YouTube Channel for The CW Network featuring the hit series Riverdale, as well as Black Lightning, The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supernatural, The 100, Dynasty, In the Dark, and Roswell, New Mexico.…

Coroner | Season 1 Episode 1 | Jenny’s First Case Scene | The CW

Stream new episodes of Coroner Thursdays free only on The CW: https://go.cwtv.com/CORgenyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About The CW: Official YouTube Channel for The CW Network featuring the hit series Riverdale, as well as Black Lightning, The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supernatural, The 100, Dynasty, In the Dark, and Roswell, New Mexico. Connect with…

What We Do In The Shadows | Season 2: Guillermo Transformation Panel Cast Chat | FX

If he wasn’t familiar before, he made sure you’ll never forget his name again. Check out @HarveyGuillen talk about Guillermo’s transformation. #ComicConAtHome #FXSDCC Subscribe now for more What We Do in the Shadows clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX What We Do in the Shadows follows four vampires who’ve “lived” together for hundreds of years. In Season 2, the…

Best Of Aparna From Indian Matchmaking | Netflix

Aparna may not like beaches or football, but she does like herself, and that's what really matters. We liked her so much, we made this video showing off some of her best moments from Indian Matchmaking. Watch Indian Matchmaking, only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/80244755 SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service…

Drag Queens Trixie Mattel & Katya React to Work It | I Like to Watch | Netflix

Drag queens Trixie Mattel and Katya react to scenes from the Netflix film 'Work It' starring Sabrina Carpenter and Liza Koshy -- in this episode of "I Like to Watch". Watch Work It, Only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81132038 SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 193 million paid memberships…

What We Do In The Shadows | Season 2: Power Talk Panel Cast Chat | FX

Who’s the most powerful vampire in the house? Place your bets now. #ComicConAtHome #FXSDCC Subscribe now for more What We Do in the Shadows clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX What We Do in the Shadows follows four vampires who’ve “lived” together for hundreds of years. In Season 2, the vampires will try to find their way in a…

Star Trek: Lower Decks | Meet The Crew: Mariner | CBS All Access

"Star Trek: Lower Decks" is now streaming, only on CBS All Access. Visit http://www.cbs.com/lowerdecks to sign up for CBS All Access. Try 1 month FREE. Subscribe To "CBS All Access" Channel HERE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrRttZIypNTA1Mrfwo745Sg For more content from "Star Trek: Lower Decks", click HERE: https://www.cbs.com/shows/star-trek-lower-decks/ Like "Star Trek: Lower Decks" on Facebook HERE: https://www.facebook.com/StarTrekCBS/ Follow "Star…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here