DVD Review: Goodbye, First Love [M15]

Dir: Mia Hansen-Løve
Starring: Lola Créton, Sebastian Urzendowsky, Magne-Håvard Brekke

The Film: Goodbye, First Love was one of the big features at this years French Film Festival, sadly I wasn’t able to see the film then due to being sick with the flu. Now the film is available on DVD and I was finally able to catch it, it was worth the wait as this is a really good film. As a young woman, it is easy to relate to the film with the aspect of first love and being able to let go, and I think a lot of people will be able to relate to it too. This is filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve’s way of letting go of her past, and it is a very personal story, one that can go either way for the audience I am sure.

Set over an 8-year period, the film is about a young woman Camille (Lola Créton) who at 15 is in love with Sullivan (Sebastian Urzendowsky); he is a few years older than her. He intends to leave the country, unable to really commit to anything, Camille is left devastated and almost unable to move on. Several years pass and she studying to become an architect, and a romance begins between her and her professor and mentor Lorenz (Magne-Håvard Brekke). As the years go on, she is reunited with Sullivan, has she truly let go of him or will she ever?

Romance films or films about love are not ones I generally really like. I guess it is because Hollywood tends to handle it in such an insulting way most of the time (there are exceptions), I avoid them. However on the foreign film front, that genre is completely different, and is feels far from insulting for the most part. I am more opened minded when it comes to romance films out of Hollywood and I do enjoy them much better. Goodbye, First Love is not exactly a happy film but it isn’t a depressing one either, it is just a brutally honest one. Love affects everyone differently, and our character Camille is one that just wasn’t able to let go and it was consuming. Sullivan is a sort of typical character, he can’t commit to things and gets welcomed back years later despite the hurt. There is something to be said about this, I can see what the intentions are and obviously how difficult this film must have been for Mia.

It is a well-written piece, the dialogue is quite lovely, and I do like how it flows through the years. Performances are strong, most notable is Lola Créton who successfully carries the film and fully embodies her character. The men in her life Sebastian Urzendowsky and Magne-Håvard Brekke are really good as well, and each shares a different kind of chemistry with Lola. There is no doubt in my mind that Mia is a very passionate and personal filmmaker that knows her craft and is very good at it. The ending of this piece is exactly what I wanted, and anything else wouldn’t have worked. It is very symbolic, and it did mean a lot to me personally as well. There is a lot of love behind this film, and it shows, it is mostly definitely worthy of being seen, if you haven’t yet given this a shot.

The Australian DVD 
Audio/Video: The video is presented in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen. Audio is presented Dolby Digital 5.01 French language, with English Subtitles.

The DVD is fine to look at, it is a decent transfer, the audio is fantastic I was rather impressed with that.

* Interview with Mia Hansen-Løve from ABC1’s At The Movies
* Trailer

There is only 1 short extra, but it is at least insightful and it explains about why inspiration for the film and what it means.

Overall Rating

Thanks to Ben from MadMan for his support.


One thought on “DVD Review: Goodbye, First Love [M15]

  1. The timing seems remarkable. I was recently found by a man to whom I was his “first love”. Our parting was nothing to me but a lifetime of memories, questions & “what if”s” for him.
    He is amazing and I fell immediately and deeply in love with him from the moment he began to share a part of my life I couldn’t remember (my teen years) and that he would never forget.
    Life can be cruel. It has been for both of us. The cruelest of all is truth. The truth of our life choices that will forever make it impossible for us to be together.
    I’ve looked long and hard to find someone, anyone, to share this torture of secrets with and had begun to believe I was alone in this struggle to leave “first love” behind.


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