Writer/Director Arnaud Desplechin’s My Golden Days (Trois Souvenirs de Ma Jeunesse) is an interesting and effective film by a very interesting and effective filmmaker.
Diplomat Paul Dédalus (Mathieu Amalric) is stopped by authorities as he tries to enter France after several years in Tajikistan and other remote posts because his identity is a match of someone else, a man who has been dead for a few years. As he deals with his doppelganger, he reflects on 3 significant memories of his youth.
Desplechin’s story is replete with allusions and references that will elude most any viewer except the Writer/Director himself. Attention to these has made him and his Editor Laurence Briaud miss some pieces of the present day story such as how his having given away his identity to someone else was resolved, but these are forgiven for the gift he has given the viewer.
The gift comes in the most significant memory...that of his first love. The story of Young Dédalus (Quentin Dolmaire) and his girlfriend Esther (Lou Roy-Decollinet) is the most engaging segment of the film. The actors are absolutely splendid, especially given that this is the first film for both of them.
I give My Golden Days a 4.1 out of 5.