MY GOLDEN DAYS
Arnaud Desplechin's MY SEX LIFE…OR HOW I GOT INTO AN ARGUMENT (1996) gets a prequel of sorts in this dazzling coming–of–age film that stands on its own as a visual feast with the sprawl of a great novel. Paul Dédalus, the protagonist played by Mathieu Almaric in Desplechin's 1996 film, returns home to Paris after a years–long work assignment abroad. The journey triggers memories of a childhood spent without parental influence, of an adolescent trip to Russia that resulted in some light espionage, and of the turbulent love that guided Paul into his 20s. The romance between teen Paul and Esther (played by Quentin Dolmaire and Lou Roy–Lecollinet in a pair of knockout debut performances) is the true masterstroke on Desplechin's canvas — a battle of wits and wills between a silver–tongued young man and a woman fully aware of her powerful allure. It's a vivid, captivating story that is undeniably and delectably French. MY GOLDEN DAYS was a prize winner at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival's Directors' Fortnight. — Mike Dougherty
Discovered in 1991 thanks to his short film MY GOLDEN DAYS, Arnaud Desplechin has gone on to have four of his films screen in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. His features include KINGS AND QUEEN, which earned a Best Supporting Actor César for Desplechin regular Mathieu Amalric; A CHRISTMAS TALE (AFI FEST 2008), which scored a Best Supporting Actor César for Jean-Paul Roussillon; JIMMY P.; and 2015’s MY GOLDEN DAYS.