Before Sunrise

Before Sunrise

This romantic, witty, and ultimately poignant glimpse at two strangers (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) who share thoughts, affections, and past experiences during one 14-hour tryst in Vienna somehow remains writer/director Richard Linklater’s (Dazed and Confused, Slacker) most overlooked gem. Delpy, a stunning, low-key Parisian, meets the stammering American Hawke, as the two share a Eurorail seat–she’s starting school in Paris, he’s finishing a vacation. Their mutual attraction
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3 thoughts on “Before Sunrise”

  1. Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    When I heard the story line for Before Sunrise, a slacker American played by Ethan Hawke falls in love in Europe with Julie Delpy, I rolled my eyes. But this is a thoughftul and compelling movie that broke down my skeptical and cynical wall. First, the movie takes us through the awkward stages of two people going from being perfect strangers to removing their own walls and falling in love in a way that is never sappy. Using this falling-in-love motif, the director/writer Richard Linklater addresses several profound themes: the nature of time, the conflict between cynicism and romance, the obsession with death, the shortcomings of “adulthood.” The dialogue between Hawke and Delpy is philosophical but never too abstract; it seems to stem from their well-drawn characters. I suppose there’s a parallel between the breaking down of my own cynicism and the characters’. They have been hurt by life, have put up their walls, and, through their discussions, they have gradually removed those walls so that by the movie’s end you think it’s a crime if they don’t fall in love and live happily ever after. But the movie is more complex than a happy ending. The movie forces you to ask if their love would survive if removed from the brief ecstasy of their single day (and night) together. Is the brevity the cause of their ecstasy? Would a life of marriage disintigrate into the mundane? The characters struggle with these questions in what is my favorite romantic movie.

  2. Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Before Sunrise [VHS] (VHS Tape)

    At first, I was surprised I was even watching this movie. I’m older now. Been married for 20 years. Not really into “chick flicks” but something about the dialog between these two young people caught my attention when I surfed into this movie. These kids were truly something. The young lady was everything I would want my daughter to be. Smart, articulate, pretty, honest, independent and sensible. She was a lot of fun to listen to. The boy was honorable and really seemed to care for this girl. I hope my sons treat the women they fall in love with with the same respect. Why would a middle age guy like me like this movie? I think it took me back to a time where I remember feeling the magic and excitment from meeting someone for the first time. It was pretty nice to feel this again for a short time. I guess I forgotten how it felt to be so intrigued by someone that nothing else in the world mattered. It was rare to have this feeling and something that we will all remember when it does happen….or something we would want to experience again. It’s like a gift. It reminded me of that Neil Young song Like a Hurricane…..”…that magic moment right before you kissed my lips, time just slips….”. I hope I remeber the words right. This is truly an excellent movie with great dialog. A true gem in a world of rotten, corny movies minus the breast shots and gratuitous sex scenes. None of that in this movie. Just a very honest and natural progression in a short-term relationship that both charactures really appreciate.

    This is just a very good movie. Perhaps one of the best I have ever seen. Not sure why it’s rated “R”. Perhaps some of the language but I have heard worse in my son’s Jr. High School.

    Watch this movie and experience a wonderful feeling that you probably haven’t experienced in years or maybe never experienced but want to. It makes this guy appreciate the woman that I have a little bit more than I did.

  3. In a world where characters seem to cautiously approach a tentative friendship before diving into an impulsive romantic relationship, it is almost refreshing to see both happening at once. From the moment American Jesse meets the luminous French Celine there is a soul connection that defies definition.

    At first, Celine seems to overwhelm Jesse with her intellectual wanderings and yet she playfully allows him to tease her. The chemistry is phenomenal and the sheer beauty of various scenes made me realize how the simplicity of the settings actually enhanced the emotional aspects.

    Throughout the entire movie you never feel that you are on the outside looking in, although I think that is the underlying attraction. I was so mesmerized by the script I felt I became each character as they were speaking. This is bliss for anyone who loves the sheer honesty of life itself. Jesse and Celine delve into philosophy, creatively describe their first romantic feelings and enjoy a spontaneous merging of the minds.

    When they meet on a train heading to Vienna, neither imagine they will encounter a reality that is better than any fantasy. There is a sweet innocence pervading this entire movie with an underlying erotic tension that never seems to find complete fulfillment on screen. While the ending of this movie is more melancholy, the ending of Before Sunset is more than delicious.

    ~The Rebecca Review

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