Goodbye First Love
|Goodbye First Love|
|Directed by||Mia Hansen-Løve|
|Screenplay by||Mia Hansen-Løve|
|Edited by||Marion Monnier|
|Distributed by||Les Films du Losange|
Goodbye First Love (French: Un amour de jeunesse) is a 2011 Franco-German film directed by Mia Hansen-Løve. It was selected for the main competition section at the 2011 Locarno International Film Festival.
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Paris, 1999. Camille (Lola Créton) is 15 years old and passionately in love and lust with Sullivan (Sebastian Urzendowsky), who is 19. Sullivan is planning a 10-month trip to South America with his friends. He is not taking Camille with him, which makes her feel quite insecure and resentful. Her mother wants her to end her relationship with him since she's too young, while his mother doesn't like the idea of him leaving. He spends his time with his friends and making preparations for his departure which makes her feel neglected.
Before Sullivan departs, they spend some time in Camille's mountain home in the Ardeche, riding horses through the fields, picking berries, basking in the sun and swimming in the Loire. One day while he is away for sometime, longer than expected, she finds herself very lonely. Upon his return she says that she doesn't want him to go saying she won't know what to do without him, that he will meet other women and forget about her. He assures her that none of that would happen since he loves her very much, adding that he's going for a reason, that they should have their own independent lives to live as well. They continue having fun together.
When they return in autumn, Sullivan leaves, leaving her very unhappy. School keeps her busy. He writes letters to Camille speaking of his travel experiences, how much he misses and loves her, while she marks his route on a map on her bedroom wall. In one of his letters, he says that he feels distant from his life in Paris, that he wants to disappear from her life since he doesn't want himself to mean anything to her, and nothing remains of what they had said in the past.
Time passes, and Sullivan stops writing. Camille enters in a state of depression and ends up at a hospital after trying to kill herself. But she moves on with her life. In 2003, four years have gone by and Camille is an architecture student. She has moved on with her life, cut her hair, has a job, and slowly begins to fall in love with her professor Lorenz (Magne Håvard-Brekke). Camille sees in Lorenz a stable man that has his life sorted out and makes her feel secure. She begins to work for Lorenz.
After eight years Camille and Sullivan meet again and she finds herself caught in between her university professor whom she has developed tender feelings for and her first love, whom she has never really forgotten. One day on a bus with Lorenz, she runs into Sullivan's mother. She asks her if he's still in South America, to which she says that he returned some time ago. Camille gives her her contact number and asks Sullivan's mother to contact her if he would like to. Later she gets a text from him asking her to call him because he's too scared to call her. He runs into her on a street and they talk. He said that he had moved to Marseille about 3 years ago, was working as a photographer and would be opening up a company of his own, he didn't like Paris, but came there sometimes to meet his family, for work and had recently broken up with his girlfriend. She tells him that she's working for her architect boyfriend with whom she'll be moving in with and setup a company of her own. She suffers a miscarriage and is upset. Camille and Sullivan hang out in the evenings; going to bars and movies. She says she still loves him and doesn't know why, to which he says that she shouldn't be feeling that way. One evening when they meet, he says that she has been on her mind all week, loves her and misses her. With Lorenz out of the country, they check into a hotel and make love, after which they talk about how much they love and miss each other. They start having casual sex at her place and he tells her that she's being unfaithful, to which she says that she loves him. She buys a painting of a couple and a baby and gives it to him. He breaks down saying that he wanted her to be his wife and have kids with her.
He leaves Paris asking her if she would like to visit him in Marseille, to see his place and meet his friends. He forgets to take the painting with him. Upon Lorenz's return, she tells him that she's going to meet a friend of hers in Normandy, but goes to Marseille instead to meet him. He texts her asking her not to be sad, but he was working and that they can meet another time. She returns to Paris and visits her mother who has apparently separated from her father. Her mother gives her a letter which is from Sullivan, who says that he had a dream of another person in bed besides him and her; their baby and how much he wanted to have a family with her. He's says that he's breaking up with her for good since he can't seem to bear the pain of his love for her, and Camille is in tears.
She looks for Lorenz around the house and finds him sitting outside. She asks him if he'll go with her to Loire. He asks her to take a hat and a stick and go and he'll follow in sometime. She takes the hat bought by Sullivan and leaves. In the end it is shown that while swimming in the river, a gust of wind blows the hat into the river and is floating away.
- Lola Créton as Camille
- Sebastian Urzendowsky as Sullivan
- Magne-Håvard Brekke as Lorenz
- Valérie Bonneton as Camille's mother
- Serge Renko as Camille's father
- Özay Fecht as Sullivan's mother
- "Volver a los 17" by Violeta Parra
- "Gracias a la vida" by Violeta Parra
- "Little Ticks of Time" by Matt McGinn
- "Music for a Found Harmonium" by Penguin Cafe Orchestra
- "Wasps in the Woodpile" by Andrew Cronshaw
- "The Water" by Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling
- Ardèche, France
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Dessau, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
- Kastrup, Amager, Denmark (sea baths)
- Paris, France
- Sanatorium d'Aincourt, Aincourt, Val-d'Oise, France
Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 80% based on reviews from 50 critics, with an average rating of 6.9/10. Metacritic gives the film a score of 80 out of 100 based on 21 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Awards and nominations
- 2011: Locarno International Film Festival: Special Mention
- 2011: Gijon Film Festival: Official Selection
- Fabien Lemercier (2010-09-06). "Mia Hansen-Love tourne Un amour de jeunesse" (in French). Cineuropa.org. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
- "Un amour de jeunesse". JP's Box-Office.
- Smith, Ian Hayden (2012). International Film Guide 2012. p. 120. ISBN 978-1908215017.
- "Un amour de jeunesse (Goodbye First Love) (2012)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster.
- "Goodbye First Love". Metacritic. CBS Interactive.