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NYFF: Mia Hansen-Love’s “Goodbye First Love”

NYFF: Mia Hansen-Love's "Goodbye First Love"

Goodbye First Love, the third feature from Cahiers du cinéma critic turned filmmaker Mia Hansen-Love, resembles her last, The Father of My Children, in several key ways. While the two films tell very different stories, both take a look at the fallout from personal catastrophes (in the new movie, the loss by attrition of a first love; in the older one, the death of a father), with a particular interest in these events as formative experiences for young adults. As time passes, via a steady rhythm of daily business (phone calls, appointments, parties, moping around), grief slowly begins to give way, as it never seemed it would, to a tentative levity. Hansen-Love also takes a loose before-and-after approach to these narratives. The Father of My Children is abruptly bifurcated; her new film spans years (around the turn of the twenty-first century) and drifts along episodically, though it also hinges on an imminent loss, if a less irrevocable one. Read Benjamin Mercer’s review of Goodbye First Love.

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