This film is part of Rentals

Goodbye First Love 15 rating

The pangs and pains of young love are artfully and respectfully rendered in this subtle and sensitive drama from Mia Hansen-Løve (Eden).

Drama 2011 106 mins

Director: Mia Hansen-Løve


Young love is a popular plot in romantic cinema, but where it’s often mined for laughs, Mia Hansen-Løve (Bergman Island) treats the subject with seriousness, sensitivity and subtlety. Beginning with the flush of love between students Camille (Lola Créton) and Sullivan (Sebastian Urzendowsky), Løve follows this fragile first relationship as it flits and fades amid the vagaries of youth, alongside Camille’s subsequent relationship with an older professor, Lorenz.

With its emphasis on naturalistic dialogue and deeply analysed relationships, Goodbye First Love is clearly following in the tradition of the French New Wave (and Eric Rohmer in particular), but Løve balances her focus on her characters’ interior states with some glorious photography of the French countryside, giving the sense of a newly vibrant world awakened to the besotted. Cinephiles will find further intrigue with the theory that Løve may have based some of the story on her experiences with her partner and mentor, the director Olivier Assayas.