(director: Arnaud Desplechin; screenwriter: Julie Peyr; cinematographer: Irina Lubtchansky; editor: Laurence Briaud; music: Gregoire Hetzel; cast: Mathieu Amalric ( Paul Dedalus), Dinara Drukarova (Irina), Quentin Dolmaire (adolescent Paul), Lou Roy-Lecollinet  (Esther), Cecile Garcia-Fogel (Jeanne Dedalus), Francoise Lebrun (Rose), Irina Vavilova (Mme Sidorov), Olivier Rabourdin (Abel Dédalus, le père),  Raphaël Cohen(Ivan Dedalus), Eve Doe-Bruce  (Prof, Behanzin), Elyot Milshtein (Marc Zylberberg), Pierre Andrau (Kovalki), Lily Taieb (Delphine Dédalus), André Dussolier (Claverie), Eric Ruf (Kovalki , adult); Runtime: 124; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Pascal Caucheteux; Magnolia; 2015-France-in French and Russian with English subtitles)

“Clocking in at two hours was too long for it to hold my attention.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An arthouse prequel to French filmmaker Arnaud Desplechin1996″My Sex Life …Or How I Got Into an Argument.” Desplechin and Julie Peyr co-write this intense romantic melodrama that reverberates with the theme that “Life is Strange,” as it references Truffaut and film noir as its models for movie love.

Mathieu Amalric again plays Paul Dedalus. He is a much traveled world-weary anthropologist to such countries as Iran and Tadjikstan, who returns home after away from France for 8 years. When stopped at the French airport by security over a passport problem, he looks back at his life and tries to figure out what he has become. Using flashbacks, in three chapters (“Childhood”,”Russia” and (Esther”), his life unfolds. An epilogue follows his return to a vastly changed Paris.

As a young man Paul is played by Quentin Dolmaire. He lives with his depressed father (Olivier Rabourdin), his younger brother Ivan (Raphaël Cohen) and younger sister (Lily Taieb). After his mom commits suicide when he’s 11, he learns how to go on his own path. When he’s 19 he begins a romance with the flirty attractive 16-year-old Esther ( Lou Roy-Lecollinet), which becomes an on again and off again affair that eludes him but haunts him for his entire life. Adolescent love that continues onto his young adult period is put under the microscope for how much it gets under his skin. When not vexing over Esther, we learn of his daring trip to Russia as a teenager and how he aggressively gained entry in the university.

Clocking in at two hours was too long for it to hold my attention.

My Golden Days

REVIEWED ON 11/21/2016       GRADE: B-