Goodbye First Love Screen 6 articles

Goodbye First Love

2011

Goodbye First Love Poster
  • Like Father of My Children, Goodbye First Love loosely fictionalizes lived experience in order to capture the ineffable—in this case, emotional maturation or, as Sullivan phrases it, "becom[ing] a real person." Fittingly, it's also a film about learning how to plunder one's own experience to make something richer than direct memoir.

  • The extremely beautiful aspect of "Goodbye First Love," which could already be seen in Mia Hansen-Løve's previous films, is that these characters do not only learn a kind of freedom, but that to the viewer they remain partially opaque and autonomous within the fiction itself. It isn't quite that they drive the narrative: they get ahead of it, foil it, and are always already elsewhere.

  • The alluring Créton more than makes good on the promise she showed in Catherine Breillat’s 2009 adult fairy tale Bluebeard. And Hansen-Løve’s direction is consistently keen and confident; she makes elegant use of visual ellipses—those irises!—to subtly emphasize the emotional toll of Camille’s journey. The character’s slow transition from fragile juvenile to functioning adult is heartbreakingly precise in every detail. This is how you portray adolescence onscreen.

  • [Hansen-Løve has] made a glorious, hot-cold Romeo and Juliet fable, one that conjures up the sweet agony of youthful romance with almost alchemical force.

  • It’s indicative of the director’s sensitivity that every time the story moves forward a few years, the characters seem to have learned something in the interim. Their faces betray some sad or protective quality they haven’t shown before. Remarkably, all of the main actors convey a decade worth of emotional development without the usual assistance of make-up or costume changes.

  • I would not deny that the film works best for me when it approaches its subject more from a purely physical side, rather than when it tries to introduce some ‘theoretical comment’ into its narrative; but I also believe that whatever tiny reproach one allows, it cannot overshadow the film’s greatness. Goodbye First Love is, above all, a film that attempts to capture a state of mind, in all its voluptuousness and fluctuation.