Goodbye First Love
Hansen-Løve’s follow up to her critically adored Father of My Children this time takes the classical coming of age story as its subject.
The film follows her two young leads, Camille (Lola Créton) and Sullivan (Sebastian Urzendowsky), through their first love affair with an intensity and emotional insight confirming her as a major voice in European cinema. At once joyful, poignant and made with a real eye for telling detail, we follow the progression from initial rapture to inevitable heartbreak as Sullivan decides he wishes to travel the world before settling down. Devastated, Camille, must learn to cope with his absence. Of course the question the film asks is will their love last?
Lola and Sullivan both start out as wide-eyed and hungry for their first taste of emotional rapture yet by the end of the film experience has taken a heavy toll on both these teenagers and life has begun to equip them for the rocky journey ahead.
Taking something so familiar to almost everyone, and infusing it with an honesty, dramatic power and lightness of touch is no mean feat. Hansen-Løve’s treat has the brio and heft of an artist absolutely at the very height of her powers and in total control of her medium. Essential viewing.