Kenneth Turan – Los Angeles Times
Arnaud Desplechin’s “My Golden Days” contains an intoxicatingly realistic portrayal of the intense emotionality, the intertwined joy and pain, of first love. It’s not the whole film, but its power is so strong it feels like it is.
The translation of the picture’s original French title, “Three Memories of My Youth,” gives a more accurate idea of what Desplechin is up to here. This is essentially an omnibus film, featuring a trio of stories all dealing with the early days of Paul Dédalus, the alter ego of co-writer (with Julie Peyr) and director Desplechin.
As played by Mathieu Amalric, the die-hard romantic Dédalus was the protagonist of one of Desplechin’s earlier films, “My Sex Life, or … How I Got Into an Argument.” But enjoyment of this new tale, created with tangible warmth and emotional precision, is not linked to familiarity with that earlier effort.