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I cannot think of many films that sum up the optimism, the excitement, the sheer carefree joy of being young and falling in love. This one does.
Its basic premise is very simple; two people, a french girl called Celine and an American called Jesse, meet on a train, get to know each other, spend a single night walking around Vienna talking, then go their separate ways in the morning. Doesn't sound THAT exciting, right?
This is definitely a film you have to see, rather than read about to appreciate the 'feel' of the film; the way the dialogue is delivered, the connection between the actors, the gorgeous scenery of Vienna, and the lump in the throat you get at the end.
The film came out in 1995, and although very low budget and low key has gained a 'cult' popularity through the years, and a very loyal fan base. I saw the film originally about 1996, and loved it immediately because it was so different; just two people walking and talking, falling in love. Of course, when you dig a little deeper there is more there, themes that are universal to all of us - cynicism about life and love, self doubt, a yearning to be liked, to relate, to meet a soul mate. The delivery of such dialogue by the actors could have come over very heavy-handed, and it is to their credit it does not, it comes over as entirely natural and plausible (apart from one scene which is just pure actor improv, and shows!)
What makes their musings on life and love profound is that they know they only have a very limited time together (Celine is rejoining the train to return to Paris the next morning, Jesse flying back to the U.S), and the act of stepping off the train together in Vienna has disconnected them from their 'real' worlds; indeed, once dawn breaks and Jesse talks about picking up his dog back home when he returns, he despairs that they are returning to the 'real world'.
I loved the ending. Originally, the two decided to have their one night and leave it at that, as real life could not live up to the romance of that one night; they quickly change their minds, and resolve to meet back at the train station in Vienna in 6 months time. We are left to make up our own minds if they did or not; at the time the director, Richard Linklater, said he and the actors had no doubt the appointment would be kept, and that was always the ending I liked to give it too.
The film is only available on DVD at the moment, which is unbelievable to me, although a blu-ray may be in the near future; its bare bones, which is a shame, just the film and one trailer; I would love interviews, a 'making of' etc but we'll just have to see. Just appreciate the film for now.
Trust me, thats enough.
Before Sunrise is a film directed by Richard Linklater which came out in 1995 and it is one of my favourites. I first watched this film about 8 years ago when it was screened at my university's film society. I have seen it many times since then and recommended it to people, and as I have just watched it this evening I thought I would write a review.
Before Sunrise is a very character driven film which is basically about two people finding a connection with each other. We start the film on a train across Europe. Celine, a French girl played by Julie Delpy, is sitting next to an annoying loud couple who are fighting so she moves seats and ends up near Jesse, an American who is travelling around Europe after a break up, played by Ethan Hawke. The two start talking, and they immediately relate to each other well and there is a spark. When the train pulls into Vienna where Jesse is supposed to be getting off to catch a flight from there the next morning, he persuades Celine to get off the train instead of carrying on to Paris. We then follow the two of them as they wander around the city.
The backdrop of this film being Vienna is something which makes me love it even more. When I first watched this film I had never been there but I thought some of the city scenes looked lovely. Later I ended up living in Vienna for three years so now when I watch the film it makes me nostalgic for the city (I moved away again about a year ago). Vienna really is a gorgeous city in terms of the buildings, walking by the river, the little winding streets... and I like that the film also portrays the quirkiness of the city with some of the odd people Celine and Jesse encounter and some of the grungier bars etc.
The dialogue of two strangers getting to know each other could be very tedious to listen to, but in this case it is not at all. They talk about such a wide range of things and I love how they talk about their random thoughts, fears, relationships, attitudes to life etc and do not just stick to the mundane at all. Some of the things they say are funny, some are relateable, some are just honest... What I love about this film is how the spark between them is so clear from the beginning but they also have some awkwardness, as they don't know how to act in this unusual situation. There's one scene where they are in a record shop in a booth listening to a song and the awkwardness and sexual tension is portrayed really well. They become more and more comfortable with each other as the night goes on, sharing more about themselves.
I love how this relationship develops and the fact that they only have one night together before Jesse has to catch his flight really intensifies the situation for them. As they start to discuss the fact that their time is so limited, whether they should see each other again and how to deal with the fact that they live on different continents, you can really see the vulnerability of the characters as they clearly both do want to see each other again, but they don't want to be the one saying so if the other does not feel the same. There is a lovely line from Jesse on this topic when they are having a midnight picnic with a bottle of wine, saying if he had the choice to never see Celine again or marry her, he would marry her. Some of this could come across as cheesy but somehow it just doesn't. Even with the 1990s fashions and the sometimes earnest lines these two sometimes come out with I can't help but just find this film to be simple, honest, emotionally truthful and romantic. The acting is great and I find both characters endearing.
Inevitably time goes on and in the morning Jesse has to get hIs flight.The only "bad" point about Before Sunrise is that when it finishes I just really want to know what happens to the two characters, but the uncertainty does fit with the film as it is just supposed to show one intense night. However,luckily for me and everyone else who finished this film desperate to know what happened, there is a sequel called Before Sunset which follows the characters later in their life and which is an equally gorgeous film.
Richard Linklater's heart felt romance still seems relevant now, despite being nearly 20 years old. The scenery doesn't date too much, even if the fashion and hairstyles of the mid 90s look slightly out of place. It's in a way a beautiful tale of two young people whop randomly meet on a train and spend a romantic evening in Vienna together. It basically follows the pair of them as they discuss life and love. A film to make you smile and nod in agreement, for those who have lived and loved.
Ethan Hawke plays Jesse, an young American travelling through Europe, due to fly back home in a few days but with one last trip to make. When he meets Celine (Julie Delpy) as she sits near him, he sparks up a conversation, and the rest just falls into place. Jesse's awkwardness is clear to start with but soon fades as he realises he has nothing to lose, while Celine starts off relaxed and innocent and naive but start to think about things a bit more later on.
The pair stop off in Vienna, where they wander the streets, talking non stop in a completely platonic way to start with, before the romance of the city takes over and they find themselves feeling a bit more interested in each other. It's not only wonderful to watch a bit of love build and grow in two people who are initially physically attracted to each other and then find their personalities match too, but I think the magic is in the insights that the conversation involves. I'm sure most people can relate to at least some of the conversation, which is almost solely focused on the philosophy of love.
It is, at times, a bit soppy for sure. However, I think this is almost its winning point - the fact that this is a purely positive film, with even the fact that the two characters are likely to never see each other again, having just met and inevitably going their own ways after this meeting. This isn't enough to dampen anything though, and merely adds to their debate on love, just another point to put in the mix. Linklater makes sure the script matches the filming, the various locations in and around Vienna beautiful and the camera work subtle enough in terms of change to make you forget you're watching a film at all - it's more like a fly on the wall look at a young couple in love.
They certainly put the world to rights, and the only thing that could make this better would be to add in a sequel - I remember thinking this when I first saw the film a few years after its release. There is now a sequel featuring the same two actors in the lead roles, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it's approached. I suppose one worry is that part of this film's appeal is in not knowing what happens after the film ends, but the way the love element is finished off doesn't actually leave any gaps, and holes or any wishes that aren't fulfilled. Nothing spoiled, nothing left out, just an hour and a half or so of putting the romantic world to rights. Hands up if you've done that a few times. Recommended.
Before Sunrise is a drama made in 1995. It was directed by Richard Linklater. This film has a second part which was made in 2001 and its title is Before Sunset.
Richard Linklater is an American film director, producer, screenplay writer and also actor. He directed for example the Fast Food Nation.
Before Sunset stars Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. The running time of the film is 105 minutes. It was released in January 1995. The screenplay was written by Richard Linklater and Kim Krizan. The classification of this film is 15 years and over.
Julie Delpy - Céline
Ethan Hawke - Jesse
Jesse and Céline travel on the same train from Budapest to Paris. Jesse observes Céline and founds a reason how to talk to her. Jesse is an American young man who goes to Vienna from where his flight goes back to the United States. Céline is a French student who visited her grandmother in Budapest and is on her way back to Paris.
Jesse convinces her to disembark with him in Vienna. As he doesn't have enough money to rent a room in a hotel they agree to roam around the city. Vienna is beautiful in the night (also daylight). They talk a lot and most of the film is based on their conversation. They both know that their time is limited. When they are on the top of the Riesenrad Ferris wheel they share a kiss. What happens next? Watch the film and find out, I wouldn't like to spoil the end of it.
I watched this film twice: first on my own then with my parents. My father was bored of it in the beginning but as more we knew about the two main characters he became interested. Finally he said it wasn't a bad film.
My mother really enjoyed it from the beginning. I loved this film that's why I watched it again and I would watch it again. There is not very much action in the film but as they walk in Vienna they talk a lot and we get know them better. The better we know them the more we are involved in the story. Actually this film has a second pert but if you don't want to watch it you don't have to because this film stands alone as well.
Although I think women enjoy better this film it is not a chick flick. The story is interesting and I really like the conversation of the two main characters. I really enjoyed when they played fake telephone conversations with each other in a café. There were several funny plots in the film and there were very touching moments too. Actually I loved the idea how the film was ended.
When the director was looking for actors in the main role he found Ethan Hawke too young for the role of Jesse but later he decided to choose him. I think he is brilliant in this film. His character had a very strange personality but somehow he was kind, sensitive and gentle. Ethan Hawke was only 25 when he played this role so I really appreciate his great performance. His first breakthrough appearance was the role of student Todd Anderson id Dead Poets Society.
Julie Delpy is a beautiful French actress who was a perfect match for the role of Céline. Her character was a romantic young woman who enjoys life. I loved her performance. She was very natural and the chemistry between her and Ethan Hawke worked very well. The film actually was nominated for MTV Movie Award Best Kiss but the winner was Dumb and Dumber (Lauren Holly & Jim Carrey).
So to sum up it is a movie with little action but well presented characters. The story is really good and makes you think a lot after watching the film.
Damn it - I keep thinking of great films to review and I'm yet to be the 1st to review one.
Anyway this is as I said a great film. A Rom (-Com) but the emphasis is very much on the Rom side of things. Ethan Hawke stars opposite Julie Delpy. They meet on the train towards Paris, sense a connection and get off at Vienna. The film follows them as they spend one evening traveling around the city trying to discover whether what they felt is meaningful and learning about each other and themselves in the process. The title refers to the fact that they have a time limit of sunrise the next day when they must both make their connections onwards, she to Paris, he to the USA.
This is a beautiful film, without doubt one of the best romances I've ever had the good luck to stumble across. It is somewhat idyllic that they happen to get into so many interesting and personally defining situations in one evening but then isn't that the case in every film? A delight from start to finish, I recommend it to anyone who ever feel in love or met someone's eyes across a crowded room and wondered 'what if?'
This is a thoroughly, unashamedly beautiful look at love and romance, is it better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all?
Can we share intense experiences with somebody over the course of a day and then return to our normal lives and carry on as though nothing happened?
These are some of the questions asked in this wonderfully mature film from Richard Linklater starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.
Whats it about?
Jesse (Ethan Hawke) is an American tourist seeing the sights of Europe on a train from Budapest to Vienna he meets the beautiful Celine (Julie Delpy), a French Student. They immediately build up a natural rapport through jokes, teasing and the sharing of thoughts, Jesse makes a decision he may always remember to ask Celine if she will spend the day and evening with him in Vienna, as he is flying home the next day.
Celine agrees and what follows is the building of a relationship through discussion, the sharing of experiences, regrets, hopes and dreams. We get to know both Jesse and Celine and watch their friendship develop into something much deeper and more profound.
This film is shot in Vienna and it is a stunning backdrop for the film, we see them doing the touristy things and follow them constantly as they do so, but we also see them wandering lost in a world devoted to the two of them, as they wander aimlessly talking, confiding and developing a bond of friendship and something more.
The setting is an important and yet irrelevant aspect of the film, it could be made anywhere but Vienna adds a romantic charm through its stunning city.
Ethan Hawke is generally an actor who looks out of his depth, he does not have a natural gait when acting classically as he proved in the ill-devised remake of Hamlet, however in this film he steps beyond his poster boy looks and plays the gawky, awkward fratty American tourist to perfection, his dialogue is smart and yet filled with inexperience and hope, his prose is awkward next to that of Delpy, but in this film that is part of the charm and makes the basis of their relationship much more realistic.
Julie Delpy, plays a slightly more world wise French student, she combines her beauty with a razor sharp wit and a whole array of intelligent, occasionally over thought through ideas about the world and her place in it, her overconfidence combines with Hawke's gawkiness and makes the relationship combine brilliantly and seem so real.
The dialogue was mainly improvised and this shows as both actors give much more to this than they would if just reading lines, they throw themselves into this film fully and the dialogue is at times beautiful and at times realistically awkward or bland. Linklater allows us to follow the actors everywhere, we don't cut from scene to scene we follow them, the film has a grainy lo-fi texture from this which just makes it feel even more realistic and romantic as we are able to watch every aspect of this burgeoning romance.
I love this film, from watching it at the cinema as a teenager and deciding it was the most romantic film ever, it has always followed me, the though that love can come and go, just as realistically as it can be with us always, we can have fleeting romances that change us and ones which don't change a thing, our life can be utterly amended by one person, or not. This film is so romantic because of its basis in reality, we wish for Jesse to miss his flight and stay with Celine, but we and they both know that this is real life and it may not happen, or it may, we're not set up from the start for a happy ending so if it happens or not the film itself is the key to our enjoyment not some grandstanding finish.
This is a realistic and funny film, full of great lines and great acting, both actors are excellent, Linklater is fantastic, his direction is assured and so natural. The film is beautiful, I love the idea of love unfulfilled or a love that is a secret between two people who never need to share it with anyone, as it is so perfect.
I have eulogised enough, I cannot write words to do justice to what a beautiful timeless film this is, it is followed by 'Before Sunset' which is just as beautiful in a different way and apparently the plan is for a third film in the trilogy to be made when the actors are elderly, a kind of reflection on live and life, this is an amazing idea as we see two people who will always be in love through the three ages of their lives.
Please watch this film if you love life or love, you will not be disappointed.
Ethan Hawke ... Jesse
Julie Delpy ... Celine
Andrea Eckert ... Wife on Train
Hanno Pöschl ... Husband on Train
Karl Bruckschwaiger ... Guy on Bridge
Tex Rubinowitz ... Guy on Bridge
Erni Mangold ... Palm Reader
Dominik Castell ... Street Poet
Haymon Maria Buttinger ... Bartender
Harald Waiglein ... Guitarist in Club
Bilge Jeschim ... Belly Dancer
Kurti ... Percussionist
Hans Weingartner ... Cafe Patron
Liese Lyon ... Cafe Patron
Peter Ily Huemer ... Cafe Patron
Where to buy the DVD:
You can buy it on its own for £4.99 on its own through Play although I would recommend buying it with Before Sunset for the same price through Play. You should watch the films together or over consecutive weekends to get a real understanding of the second film in all its glory.
I like to think of myself as a romantic person and as my fiancé is not particularly romantic I like to watch movies which show romance so I feel like I am getting my fix of romance. I had thought about getting the two movies before sunrise and before sunset for a long time as I have only ever heard good things about them both. Well finally at the weekend I got both of them and yesterday morning I decided to sit down with my sister Sam and watch before sunrise, the first of the two. What I found was a very clever, surprising and extremely romantic film which I absolutely loved and here is why.
Celine is on a train on her way to Paris when the people who she is sitting by begin to argue and quite loudly so she becomes very uncomfortable. She moves seats and finds herself across the aisle from a guy called Jesse who immediately begins to talk to her. Together they chat all the way to Vienna which is where Jesse must get off the train. On a whim he asks Celine to accompany him saying he has just one night to keep himself amused in Vienna and if she came with him they could explore together.
Celine gets off the train with Jesse and together they have a wonderful time in Vienna taking in the sights and local culture. The one catch though is that they only have until sunrise before they must part with Celine going back to Paris and Jesse leaving for America so they decide to make it a night to remember.
Verdict on the Story:
I think even those of you who are not romantic at all will find this story romantic. I think that once you get over the fact that Celine has just met this guy and goes to spend the night with him (Well would you go off like that with a stranger to a strange place as I know I wouldnt) then you find the story sweet and basically an exploration into how close two people can get in a very short space of time.
The story does play out well with the viewers attention being grabbed from beginning to end and I think that the story is one of those that you cannot stop watching as you are just watching a relationship grow and the way the script goes it is fascinating to watch. What I will say though is this story is a complete story and seriously there is no action or special effects, instead it is just about two people talking throughout which I know some people find boring.
Cast and Characters:
Ethan Hawke Jesse
Julie Delpy Celine
Ok so I know I have only mentioned two people but to be honest you do really see anybody else in the film at all. Hawke is quite annoying to be honest as he does not seem the charmer that his character portrays him to be but he is quite sweet I suppose. Delpy on the other hand is perfectly cast as Celine who is a little quirky and a bit of a risk taker and Delpy plays Celine so you just fall in love with her character.
Character-wise they are so much fun and so great and you learn so much about their lifes so you get some good back stories so by the end of the film you feel like you know everything about them. They are memorable and I think two of the most well thought out characters I have watched in a movie in a long time.
Things to Know:
Runtime 97 minutes
Price £5.97 from Amazon
1 Disc DVD
The only special feature on the DVD is a trailer for the film which lets face it is not that interesting at all.
What a wonderful experience it is to watch a film and become so engrossed within it that you think you might as well as made the film with them as you felt so involved. This is the kind of film that captures your attention and gets you totally involved with the characters lifes which I love and wish that more films were like this. This film shows how romance can strike at such unlikely places and it touched me to watch it as I thought it was that sweet and just so romantic.
Before sunrise is a complete chick flick so I would not really recommend it to the men as I think they will go mad at you for it. My fiancé only watched a couple of minutes and walked out saying this film is rubbish and that he was so glad he had not bothered sitting down to watch it. If you are an old romantic like me though you will love it as I just thought it was fantastic to watch.
I have been sitting here thinking about the film and for ages after it had finished I was trying to think of things I hated about the film or just disliked a little but I couldnt think of any. Now usually if films are very talky talky like this one I get a bit fed up and wish there were some action or something exciting would happen but with this film you just get used to it and it suits the tone of the film.
In terms of whether this film is believable I would say yes. The relationship develops at a good if slightly quick pace but they capture what can happen between people well and I think everything that happens could and probably has happened to someone at some point in the world.
In conclusion I am going to give this film five stars as I think it is fantastic and although to be honest nothing much actually happens it seems like it does as you seriously sit there and think you have just spent a night with these characters yourselves. It is a bit of a pain that there are no special features but the film is that good I can live with that.
Thanks for reading.
Before Sunrise is a film for the hopeless romantics amongst us all, for those who believe in love and especially love at first sight. It is the story of Jesse (Ethan Hawke), an American who has been touring Europe and is heading towards Vienna airport to catch his plane back home, and Celine (Julie Delpy), a French woman heading back home. They meet on a train heading through Austria when Celine moves away from a couple that spend their journey arguing all the time. The humour of the couple gives them something to talk about and it doesn't take long before the two of them find a connection, that indefinable something that brings two people together.
With only an evening and morning before his flight home Jesse knows he has to act know, when the train reaches Vienna and he has to get off he acts spontaneously and asks Celine to get off with him. She thinks about it and decides that she to wants to take a chance, their conversation so far sparking something that makes her not want to lose Jesses company so quickly, after all they will never met again if the part ways now!
From then on the film follows them through the evening, night and morning. The only time they have together just walking and talking around the sights of Vienna. That's it, nothing else, a film of two people chatting about everyday life, where they are, where they've been and all those normal kind of things we all do.
Of course they interact with some of the locals and we get to see the wonderful city of Vienna and its beautiful sights as they walk but there is nothing else to this film, and it is all the better for it.
I know that this probably sounds uninteresting, and probably in the hands of a less accomplished director than Richard Linklater (Slacker, School of Rock) and a less talented pair of actor/actress than it certainly could have been.
Linklater has developed a way of directing that seems is almost fly on the wall like. Watching this you don't have those cuts to different places, different people like most films do. The camera follows Jesse and Celine everywhere they go, moving in front of them, around them and watching as the walk away. This realism adds to the 'common man' dialogue the two of them use. No long words or conversations about things that we ourselves wouldn't talk about. The interaction between Jesse and Celine just sparkles, their conversations natural, unforced and above all realistic. I cannot remember the last time a film so completely involved me, enveloped me in its on screen world. You so much want them to get together as the film progresses, but you know that like in real life that is not guaranteed, unlike most other romantic film. You want them to, you believe they will but can you be sure of this? Nope you can't, the realism of the film doesn't allow you to 'know' this is going to happen. And as the film moves through the hours they have together you realise that anything could happen by the time we come to the final scene.
Ethan Hawke will never be better than he is in this, he is not an actor I would say is great or has the charisma for this kind of part, but then maybe that is why he works as Jesse. He is not an actor you think of as a star and so your viewing of the film isn't prejudiced by his star quality or the things you have seen him in before. You see him as Jesse and not as Ethan Hawke, unlike Tom Cruise or Tom Hanks for example who you always see as themselves not who they are playing!
Julie Delpy is just as good, again her beauty is such that she is not a make up plastered mega star, someone who has too look brilliant in every scene, you know the ones who wake up in the morning on screen with their hair perfect and their make up already on. She is beautiful in an average, normal person way (and I mean this as a compliment! She looks normal and having met her she looks just as incredible in real life as well)
This film was made 11 years ago now (1994) and somehow managed to pass me by at the time, probably because it got a limited release and didn't reach many cinemas. Much like it's newer sequel Before Sunset, showing what the two are up to 10 years later, made in 2005. This sequel was again ignored by pretty much every cinema around my area, the big chains not wanting to show a film that isn't guaranteed to pull in loads of punters.
I was lucky enough to see both these films in a double bill last year and it made an afternoon/evening to remember. Two beautiful films that deserve to be seen by everyone but will probably not get the viewers they really deserve.
Before Sunrise is a rare example of the near perfect film, it may not be my favourite of all time, or even last year, but it is certainly the closest I have seen to perfect!
You can buy Before Sunrise for around £8-9 from various online stores but I would say save your money and get the box set of both film because once you've seen one you will have to see the other one :o)
This is available from anything between £19-"% from various outlets
The DVD only has one extra and that is a disappointing trailer. This is so a film that could have done with a cast commentary!
Two final comments now:
1) The adventures of Jesse and Celine also appear in Linklaters animated multi story film 'Waking Life' voiced by Hawke and Delpy
2) I just have to add that I was in a cinema with Julie Delpy during the premiere of Before Sunset and she managed to elbow me in the ribs, hey it's kind of a claim to fame!
"If there's any kind of magic in this world, it must be in the attempt of understanding someone, sharing something. I know, it's almost impossible to succeed, but... who cares, really? The answer must be in the attempt." - Celine, Before Sunrise. Before Sunrise is one of the closest things to cinematic perfection that I ever seen. This may seem like a slightly strange way to open a review, but in this it seems apt. I find everything about this film to be perfect, and although I can usually find flaws in the films that I adore the most, I have yet to find anything within Before Sunrise that doesn't work for me. The performances are spot on. The story simple yet beautfiul. The conversations amongst the most intelligent I have within American film. So why didn't anybody seem to see the film when it first appeared? Why is it only now that it is has gained it's richly deserved cult status? Of course, as I previously stated in my Before Sunset review, I am no better in this than those I seem to be complaining about. I only discovered the film this year despite it being released in 1995, and I tend to see everything. Admittedly this isn't helped by the utter disgrace that is a lack of a UK DVD of the film, but it does go to show how easily such a gem can be missed. Before Sunrise's tale is a simple one. Jesse (Ethan Hawke), an American slacker on his last day of touring Europe meets Celine (Julie Delpy), a French student as they share the same train on route to their destinations. She's returning to university in Paris, he has a flight to catch in Vienna. When they reach Vienna though, he suggests to her that she get off the train with him, and spend the night touring the city before his fligh
t the following morning. She of course does, and the rest of the film simply chronicles that night as they gradually fall in love, knowing that their time is limited. Now this all may sound rather simplistic, and like something that has been done repeatedly before, but director Richard Linklater presents us with a film that is entirely original in almost everyway, mostly in it's handling of the relationship between the two characters. This isn't your usual shallow physical attraction and eventual conquest seen in most American teen films. Before Sunrise goes considerably deeper. What we see is something almost entirely unheard of; a film where the characters fall in love with each other through words, not sexual lust. From the start, both have fantastic chemistry and watching them is akin to watching some form of verbal tennis, each of them rapidly batting words back and forth, each slightly more appealing than the last. While of course there is a physical aspect to their relationship, for once it isn't the primary focus, and the film is all the better for it. We're seeing two people intelligently fall in love with each other in a way that is much more appealing both to them and to the viewer. As one moves through the film, there are so many wonderful discoveries to be made. This is one of the few films where I've gone back and watched individual scenes repeatedly and still managed to pick up on new nuances each time. Each viewing of the film presents a whole new set of moments to discover, and it's this that makes the film never get old. Watching the film for the third time is still like watching it for the first. Throughout the film it becomes difficult to know where to look. You end up wanting to watch both characters at all times, whether they are speaking or not as there are so many little glances and reactions that just add so much depth to the
film. The first moment that alerted me to the boldness of the film comes a short way in where Jesse and Celine take a tram to move across the city. As the sit inside, they begin a game where each asks the other questions where they have to answer truthfully. This is the kind of game that may often be played by children, but works so wonderfully here as not only do we get deep insight into the characters (and they get to fall in love a little more with each other), we also get to feel like we are part of the scene. Filming the scene as one continuous take that lasts over five minutes, we can feel like we are also in the tram, looking back at where they are sitting, listening in on their conversation. This sustained shot also means that we can focus solely on the characters with no distraction, meaning we get to pick up on every flick of the flick, every glance, and every little moment. It's pure romanticism at its best. However, all of this, at least to me, is just building for what is by far the most beautfiul scene that I have ever seen in a film, yet alone in this one. Despite this, it's a much shorter, and much simpler scene than even the tram one, but it works wonderfully. Jesse and Celine are in a record store with a listening booth. Celine picks out a record by Kath Bloom, and they both go into the booth to listen. With the backing of the incredibly romantic 'Come Here', we get to watch the characters as they both try and steal glances of each other, quickly moving their heads away and acting as if it's nothing everytime the other turns to do the same. It's a powerful scene, and one that makes the audience really root for the characters to have their happy ending. The film is littered with moments like this and I could continue for several more pages if I detailed them all, but I won't. The majority of thes
e scenes need to be discovered by the viewer, whether it be the scenes talked about above, the great street poet begger, the palm reader, the big wheel, the dancing, the phone calls, the ambiguous ending, or anything else. Pretty much every scene in Before Sunrise offers the viewer with an overwhealming sense of beauty sadly lacking from the majority of most films. This film contains more of these moments than most of the other films of the nineties combined. Of course all of this would not be possible without the cast to support it, and thankfully Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are more than up to the task. Both manage to make the characters entirely their own, acting in such a naturalistic way that it's difficult to tell where the actor ends and the character begins. Hawke is the real revealation here, as he is often let down by roles that just do not suit him, yet Jesse is the perfect match for him, and Julie Delpy as Celine is the perfect foil for the dialog to click in an incredible manner. Richard Linkalter is a director that I just cannot praise enough. I already thought highly of him from just Slacker and Dazed & Confused, but this goes above and beyond both of these films. That any director can hit such a level in film so early in their career is an incredible thing. That he could repeat it again nine years later for Before Sunset is nothing short of miraculous. I try to make each of my reviews as critical as possible, but it just simply isn't possible for me to pick out problems within Before Sunrise. Quite how this film went unnoticed for so long is something that will forever baffle me. It is there though, simply waiting to be discovered, and few who find it will regret it.
This is a somewhat whimsical film, heavy on the romance with a plot enclosed within a one day period. Directed by Richard Linklater, it relates the story of Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) meeting on a train in Central Europe. Jesse is an American heading for Vienna to catch his flight back to the US, and Celine is a French student, on her way back to Paris. Jesse persuades Celine to disembark at Vienna with him so they can explore the city, and on the basis that she hasn't got anything to lose, she concurs. The film follows their time together, the conversations about all sorts of things, of art and philosophies, dreams and hopes and as they learn more about each other. These discoveries are always tinged by the knowledge that this can only be a fleeting moment in their crossing paths. It raises all sorts of questions, presented subtlely to the audience, of missed opportunities and chance meetings that may or may not have an effect on our future lives. As they discover each other, they also discover Vienna herself. The shots of the city are spectacular, and it is as much a romance to this city, as to each other. There are no great surprises in the film, but this is an intelligence romance, that does not bathe itself in sacchirin, and the characters are, more or less, believable. It is, in essence, a two-hander, or three, if you include Vienna herself. The realism is retained in the dialogue, in that the conversations must be sustained, in order to keep interest in the film over an extended period. The acting skills, thus are on full show, and it is a pleasant film, slow-moving in parts, unspectacular, but character-driven. I was left with the feeling, not necessarily of empathy for either of the characters, but of the desire to go to Vienna, because it seemed so beautiful, but saying that, it is an interesting film, and worth a look, as long as you aren't expecting
an action-packed, complicated plot sequence.
Before Sunrise is my favourite movie of all time. I have so many favourite scenes in it that when I rewind or fast forward to see a particular one, I always end up rewinding and watching almost from the very start! It's what I watch on quiet nights in and I always manage to discover something new that failed to entice me on the previous viewing. The movie is about Jesse and Celine, two total strangers who upon meeting in a train enroute to France start talking and start to discover so much about each other. Jesse then persuades Celine to postpone her trip to Paris and spend the day with him in Vienna, before his flight back to the states. In the course of their day and night together they talk about love & relationships, life & death, dreams & desires, art and so much more in a way so passionate and intelligent yet so spontaneous and real. I felt that a lot of what they were talking about somehow did apply to me in some way or another... This movie is about the perfect moment and the perfect romance between two people before any of the things that tend to ruin a relationship kick in. At the end of the movie, we know that these two people are wonderful together yet we are left to guess whether they will ever meet again. In the perfect sequel I would have them married, with kids and perfect careers and living happily ever after but then... that isnt the real world is it? Before Sunrise also makes you think, what if?? What if I just got up the courage and did that? What if I strike up a conversation with that guy I see on the train everyday to work? What if I take a chance once in a while? It reminds us that sometimes spontaneity and your gut instinct is the best, either that or you just spend your whole life wondering what if..... There are so many romantic moments in this film, their shy glances & holding hands, reading poetry and taking pictures in their minds.... Set against the beautiful backdrop of Vienna makes it al
l the more wonderful. No one could have done a better job playing Celine and Jesse than Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. It just makes you believe that if you ever did meet Ethan Hawke, he would be there talking to you for hours and hours.... No harm dreaming!
A young man and woman meet on a train in Europe, and wind up spending one romantic evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together.