And here we go again: the press screenings for the 35th annual Portland International Film Festival began yesterday morning. First up, a film about young love or, really, recovery from first love.
Goodbye First Love is Mia Hansen-Løve's (Father of My Children) take on the puppy love, gone awry film. Young Camille (Lola Créton) is hopelessly taken with her boyfriend Sullivan (Sebastian Urzendowsky). Sullivan claims to love her but also doesn't want to grow "too dependent," spending nights away from Camille at parties while planning a move to South America. Predictably, it's not long before Sullivan is out of the picture, fracturing her immature view of what constitutes life.
The film spends an incredible amount of time focusing on Camille's emotional recovery, only to send her into the arms of her much older architectural studies professor, Lorenz (Magne-Håvard Brekke), a move that, like the initial breakup with Sullivan, one can see coming from a mile away. This relationship is also strained, although, this time, it's her inability to fully commit that threatens it.
Overall, Goodbye First Love is a perfectly fine distraction. It's well shot and the performances are admirable. If there is something to complain about, it's that Hansen-Løve focuses so intensely on Camille's post-breakup depression that there's little room for plot advancement during a very large chunk of the film. Most of the time, when it's not bogged down by pacing issues, it's a fairly pleasant, though somewhat slight, film.
Goodbye First Love will screen for the public at the Lloyd Mall 5 on Feb. 12th at 2pm and, again, at Cinema 21 on Feb. 17th at 8:45pm.
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