My Golden Days (2016)

A wonderful French romantic drama with stunning performances by the leads.

My Golden Days (2016)

Cast: Mathieu Amalric, Quintin Dolmaire, Lou Roy-Lecollinet
Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Studio: Canal+ etc./ Magnolia Home Ent. 10951 [7/12/16]
Video: 2.40:1 for 16:9 screens, color
Audio: French, DTS-HD MA 5.2, Dolby 2.0
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Extras: Conversation with Director, Casting Session, Two Pauls and Three Esthers, Meeting the Actors, Theatrical trailer
Length: 124 min.
Rating: *****

Similar to Trauffaut with the character Antoine Doniel, Desplechin has here told another cineamatic story with Paul Dedalus continuing from My Sex Life…or How I Got Into an Argument. As the doctor Paul prepares to leave Tajikistan, he reflects on this life. There are three episodes: The first is his childhood in Roubaix France, where his mother committed suicide when he was a teenager. He next recalls a student art trip to the USSR where a clandestine and dangerous mission leads him to give his passport to a young Jewish man who needs it to emigrate to Israel. The third and longest episode concerns his return home to university, his friends, and the love of his life: Esther.

I wanted to see more of French actor Mathieu Amalric, but since these were reminiscenses of his youth, most of the screen time is taken by Quintin Dolmaire as his younger self. The story and acting is extremely vivid, as the young lovers attempt to salvage their ever-changing relationship despite the distances that keep them apart so much of the time. Paul tries to be the understanding and forgiving sense of security which Esther has always needed, but isn’t always successful.

The film’s final scene shows that Esther has left a deep impression on his heart that even the passing of time cannot erase.

—John Sunier

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