I first saw Before Sunrise (released in 1995) a few years back and it was a movie that I enjoyed and remembered, because it made an impression on me. Enough of an impression for me to rent the movie and watch it again, this time with a beautiful woman.*
Before Sunrise stars Ethan Hawke as Jesse, a young American travelling through Europe, and Julie Delpy as Celine, a young Frenchwoman, as beautiful and pout-y as they come. (What is it with French women and pouting? It’s an art, that’s what.)
Jesse and Celine meet on the train–he’s travelling to Vienna to catch his flight out of Europe, and she’s going back home to Paris–and quickly discover that they have a connection.
Since Jesse must get off at Vienna, he convinces Celine that she should get off too and that they should spend the night roaming the streets, since he doesn’t have enough money for a hotel. So, in essence it’s a movie about one night in Vienna, but that’s like saying tiramisu is just another dessert.
There are other characters but the movie is completely focused on Jesse and Celine–there are no detours to take your attention away. You’d think that a movie like this would bore you to death but it’s just the opposite.
The dialogues are crisp, funny at times, insightful at other times, and a lesson in how to write good dialogue to move a story. The script, written by Richard Linklater (who also directed the movie) and Kim Krizan, is excellent good and the story moves along nicely. There’s also a freshness to the story that is, for lack of a better word, refreshing. No over-the-top sentimentality either. The movie has good dialogue, interesting characters, an intriguing situation, and a good script and director–probably why it works so well.
Before Sunset is one of those movie that you won’t forget because it’s about a connection between two strangers, all in one night.
Or instead of saying all the above, I could’ve just said, Brilliant.
*–It was the wife, but I like the way you think.