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Before Sunset
Before Sunset
Actors: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Vernon Dobtcheff, Louise Lemoine Torres, Rodolphe Pauly
Director: Richard Linklater
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
R     2004     1hr 20min

A writer meets up with an old acquaintance in Paris.

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Movie Details

Actors: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Vernon Dobtcheff, Louise Lemoine Torres, Rodolphe Pauly
Director: Richard Linklater
Creators: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Lee Daniel, Richard Linklater, Anne Walker-McBay, Isabelle Coulet, John Sloss, Kim Krizan
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Love & Romance
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 11/09/2004
Original Release Date: 01/01/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 20min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 3
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 2/8/2023...
Part 2 (after Before Sunrise) - More slow burn artsy style if you are into that!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Greg C. (calgreg) from PASO ROBLES, CA
Reviewed on 10/11/2013...
This is one part of a 3 part series (so far). One of my own very favorite movies of all time.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jeremy G.
Reviewed on 1/11/2011...
beautiful love story..
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jane H. (Janie) from SPRING HILL, FL
Reviewed on 2/8/2010...
A wonderful followup to Before Sunrise. Delightful dialogue and a good chemistry between the two main characters.

1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

A love song to love and to Paris
H. Cassell | Portland, OR | 05/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Before Sunset" is a lovely piece of film making that feels like an 80-minute exercise in eavesdropping on a conversation between two real, knowable people--not actors on the silver screen. The movie is a rarity in this age of fifty-million dollar budgets, graphic sex, extravagant sets, and cheesy special effects (none of which I particularly mind; "Sunset" is just a nice departure from the latest multiplex thriller). It never feels contrived, the way most movie romances do; the (abundant) conversation that makes the movie work is flowing and genuine. The characters seem real, not like paid actors at all (attribute that to Hawke and Delpy's perfect on-screen chemistry). I never got the feeling that either were just reciting lines from a script someone else had written (the director and two lead actors are given full writing credit; thus, the feeling of authenticity). This sentiment of realism holds particularly true toward the end of the film, when Celine angrily shouts at Jesse that he ruined things for her, that their night together nine years ago was as good as it'll ever be, and now she's forced to unfavorably compare everything to that. How can anyone act that without feeling it? I wondered.

As its prequel, "Before Sunrise," was nicely set in Vienna, Paris is a lovely backdrop for "Before Sunset," with (blissfully) nary a shot of the Eiffel Tower in sight and not a note of the typical "fall in love in Paris" accordion music. But the cafes, shops, cobblestone streets, and River Seine are all present in their authentic glory.

I thought the ending, in fitting with the rest of the film, was perfect. What ultimately happens is settled in my mind, which may vary from another's interpretation. Isn't it nice to be able to decide the outcome instead of being force-fed the answers? It will be a long time before I see another movie I enjoyed as much as "Before Sunset.""
The best film so far of 2004 is Before Sunset
Ryan L. | Boston, MA | 08/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Maybe I sound biased because Richard Linklater's 1995 film Before Sunrise is one of my ten or so all time favorite films, but this improved (and I thought that would be impossible!) sequel to an infinitely great film is truly the best film (so far) of 2004. The screenplay, co-written by director Richard Linklater and stars Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke, is probably one of the most refreshing of this decade. It succeeds on so many levels because of the development of this relationship and the fact that Delpy and Hawke have such a three dimensional knowledge of these complex characters-no, human beings. Fictional of course, but they are still the most humanistic screen "couple" I've ever seen.

Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy), separated for nine years, are undeniably the soul mates often described in their conversations, the ones that dig deeper than small talk. On a book tour in Paris, where Celine now lives, Jesse finds her watching him through a window as he absentmindedly describes the book he has written, which concerns two fictional lovers who meet and spend a night together-quite obviously autobiographical, when the question is implied by an interviewer. From there on, the two reunite and spend a brief but unforgettable afternoon in Paris, wandering the streets.

The screenplay and direction are flawless. The dialogue and its delivery is so natural, so uncontrived I was convinced even more that these were real people that I knew. After all, I've waited nine years too (okay, not really, I only saw Sunrise a year ago). Linklater just observes all that is going on without overly glamorizing it. Delpy and Hawke take this dialogue and make it into their own-they are those Celine and Jesse as far as I'm concerned. Some of the best acting this year can be found in Sunset.

The city of Paris serves as a fluid and dreamlike backdrop to the graceful and powerful, bittersweet and engrossing talk. Sunset is well filmed, and embraces just enough of Paris, which in fact would be more noticeable upon the inevitable second viewing. This city has never looked better on the screen!

I liked the fact that both Jesse and Celine expressed their true feelings through an art form, he with a book, and she with a song. This clearly conveys the message that there still exists romanticism in each of them despite each characters' biting cynicism. Although they never once said a word along the lines of "I love you," you know throughout the entire film that they are still in love with each other. Maybe I am reading too deeply into this film, but I strongly believe that the first place that the two go, the café, is almost like a complete reenactment of the train sequence in certain ways-it is the beginning of their journey and each place is mutual ground where Jesse and Celine are not under pressure, but they can just talk without interruptions or worries about the past.

By the time the ending came around, I held back tears in my eyes-out of happiness for these characters. If a film can do that, it's a winner in my mind. Those last words of the film leave you wanting more, but they are also brilliant and have stuck out in my mind amidst the philosophy and deep discussions. I won't ruin it, but the ending is just so amazing because you know that something good is going to happen.

Do yourself a favor and see Before Sunset before it's too late, and then buy yourself the soundtrack as a memory of this beautiful film so that it is not forgotten until the DVD release.

THE VERDICT: **** (A)"
Brilliant Linklater Elevates the Cinematic Experience...
Kim Anehall | Chicago, IL USA | 04/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Almost a decade later two adrift souls reconnect after a literature soirée at one of Paris' infamous bookshops where cats and coffee belong to the mystique. These two individuals are Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) who now are wiser and simpler while their lives have actually become more complex. Despite the complications in their lives, their reunion awakens old emotions from a day in Vienna some nine years ago when they toured the city and each other. This time they only have a mere 60 minutes, as Jesse has to fly back to the United States like he did 9 years ago. With no time to lose they begin to converse, as no time has passed since last. Yet, both feel the pressure of time constraints, as they feel time breathing down their neck. This anxiety is caused by the ticking of time while they know that can only say so much, and they must wisely choose what to say.

Interestingly the story brings the audience through a short verbal venture that recaps what has happened to them during the time between now and when they were supposed to have met in Vienna after their first encounter. Through their personal narrations of what they have been up to, feelings and personal thoughts seep through the walls of tension that they both try to keep up in order to protect themselves and their presence. As the minutes evaporate, personal concerns filter through cerebral stress and anxiety that rests on a limited foundation of expiring time. An emotional distillation of verbal expression concentrates on what is important, yet they repress any emotional outburst, as they lean on their social and personal values. This becomes a balancing act between fear and desire, as they both care for one another they do not want to offend the other, yet they desire to tell what is eating them inside.

Delpy and Hawke perform in a brilliant manner, as they depict a delicate balancing act between what they desire and fear of loosing - each other. The director Richard Linklater depicts the meeting with intense verbal outlet and touching delicacy where the honesty of words are covered in a jumble of emotion that confuses and bewilders both. This is where the true brilliance of the film rests, as Linklater captures the essence of the reunion. They desire each other, yet cannot say, as fear of possible pain that could visit them again if sudden erotic feelings were expressed. Visualized pauses and awkward silence illustrates the duality of the moment where genuine emotion and logic crashes into the wall of apprehensive tension. Nonetheless, random moments of Freudian feelings pop up without warning, which lightens up the mood between Celine and Jesse. These moments depict the subconscious ability to surprise where repressed honest feelings infiltrate the anxious consciousness.

Throughout the film Celine and Jesse seem to be on the move while knowing of the near impending separation. This constant movement provides a visual unrest that enhances the lovelorn anxiety within the story, which also transfers genuine empathy for the characters. Cleverly, Linklater captures the unrest, as they walk, travel by car and boat, and feel that they must gain as much as possible from their limited time together. Simultaneously, there is an internal struggle within one of them, which seems to want to depart in fear of experiencing the same pain again. Yet, they hold onto the moment while learning more about each other's pain and suffering.

There is a continuous level of serenity within the story that Linklater captures by filming the story of a summer evening in the Paris sun. The friendly atmosphere between Celine and Jesse combined with the easy flow of the camera from location to location without any sudden movement helps to induce this tranquility. The calmness within the story suggests that there is something special going on between Celine and Jesse, but maybe it is too late, as they already have their lives in Paris and New York. Nonetheless, the unbroken serenity provides a notion of something special, yet it also seems as if this calmness stirs up strong emotional currents from the past, which could be very hurtful. The story does not provide any climatic moments. It merely continues, as the clock keep ticking pressuring them about the expiring time.

Before Sunset is a wonderful film about moments and opportunities in the light of signs and symbols that offer a chance to see the truth--the truth of what one wishes and desires while time rapidly warns that there is no time to loose. An inner voice whispers, carpe diem, while logic tells one to ponder the long term effects. This occurs while wisdom offers a middle path where one should follow one's own heart without listening to fear, or temporary pleasure. All of this is shrewdly tailored in a cinematic experience that takes brilliant consideration to script, cinematography, performances, and mise-en-scene, which in the end presents truly great cinematic experience."