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Before Sunset

Before Sunset

4.1 18
Director: Richard Linklater

Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Vernon Dobtcheff


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Richard Linklater directs the romantic drama Before Sunset, a sequel to Before Sunrise (1995). Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) were strangers who spent a loquacious night together in Vienna. Nine years later, Jesse has written a book about the encounter. During his accelerated European book tour, he reunites with Celine in Paris. Before


Richard Linklater directs the romantic drama Before Sunset, a sequel to Before Sunrise (1995). Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) were strangers who spent a loquacious night together in Vienna. Nine years later, Jesse has written a book about the encounter. During his accelerated European book tour, he reunites with Celine in Paris. Before Jesse's flight home, he joins Celine for a picturesque walk around Paris peppered with intimate conversation: at first, about the minutiae of their day-to-day lives and their relationships, and then about their lingering feelings for one another. Before Sunset was nominated for the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
This thoughtful drama should draw in anyone who has ever fretted over missed opportunities or speculated on the long-term effects of impulsive decisions. A sequel to 1995’s Before Sunrise, the film reunites that film’s stars, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, with director and Richard Linklater. In the original, Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy) met on a train and disembarked in Vienna, where they spent his last night in Europe and promised to rendezvous in six months -- a promise he failed to keep. Now a published novelist attending a book signing in Paris, Jesse again encounters his erstwhile soul mate, and they continue the conversation they began nearly a decade ago. In its quiet, unassuming way, Before Sunset presents a string of revelations that would be surprising (and unbelievable) in many dramas but which make perfect sense here. Delpy and Hawke collaborated on the script, and as a result their exchanges are so natural, so realistic, that you’ll feel more like an eavesdropper than a casual viewer. Their interaction is touching, at some points almost heartbreakingly so. Was their initial meeting just the impetuous pairing of two inexperienced, adventurous young people? Did they miss out on a wonderful lifetime together? Is it too late for them to pursue happiness together? Before Sunset answers these questions, and others, with an ingenuous mix of spontaneity and stagecraft. Linklater shoots pieces of the conversation in lengthy takes that have the feel of improvisations but which, in actuality, were tightly scripted and carefully rehearsed. The two stars, real-life friends whose offscreen lives intersected in ways similar to those described by Jesse and Celine, have an undeniable chemistry, and the palpable longing they feel for each other comes across in every frame. A modest, unpretentious film that came and went all too quickly, Before Sunset is just the type of movie that provides the intimate experience often afforded by viewing at home on DVD.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
"I really believe that if there's any kind of God, he wouldn't be in any one of us -- not you, not me, but just this space in between. If there's some magic in this world, it must be in the attempt of understanding someone else, sharing something. Even if it's almost impossible to succeed, but who cares, the answer must be in the attempt." Those words were spoken in Before Sunrise and they represent not only the theme of that film, but also a statement of purpose for director Richard Linklater, whose every film has been about attempting to forge connections. Before Sunset continues with this theme, but it has the wisdom to understand how difficult maintaining those connections can be. Over the course of about 85 minutes -- presented in real time -- Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) talk in an endless flow of words that reveals them each to be essentially the same people they were when they last saw each other nine years before, while still acknowledging that both have been colored from suffering the typical disappointments of life. The dialogue, as is usually the case in any Linklater film, sparkles with intelligence -- and these actors are easily up to the challenge. Delpy and Hawke co-wrote this sequel with Linklater. Reportedly, their work did not divide along gender lines, making this film more of a generational statement than an examination of men and women. While the first film showed Generation X that romantic love was possible in the age of irony, Before Sunset lets that same generation know how difficult life and love can actually be. The regrets and disappointments these characters feel toward themselves and each other should be familiar to anyone, but the great achievement is that never once do these characters feel like spokespeople. These are two living, breathing three-dimensional people, and their specificity -- something that is heightened by the real-time structure of the film -- allows the viewer to feel remarkably close to them. There is nothing artificial about Before Sunset, and thanks to that honesty, the flawless technical aspects of the film, and the incomparable writing and acting, Linklater has lived up to his artistic sense of purpose. He has attempted to share, he has attempted to understand someone else, and most remarkably, he has defied the odds and succeeded. Before Sunset is divine.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ethan Hawke Jesse
Julie Delpy Celine
Vernon Dobtcheff Bookstore Manager
Louise Lemoine Torres Journalist #1
Rodolphe Pauly Journalist #2
Marianne Plasteig Waitress
Diabolo Philippe
Albert Delpy Man at Grill
Marie Pillet Woman in Courtyard

Technical Credits
Richard Linklater Director,Screenwriter
Sandra Adair Editor
Bernard Bats Sound/Sound Designer
Jerome Borenstein Asst. Director
Isabelle Coulet Co-producer
Lee Daniel Cinematographer
Thierry Delettre Costumes/Costume Designer
Julie Delpy Screenwriter
Glover Gill Score Composer
Baptiste Glaymann Production Designer
Ethan Hawke Screenwriter
John Sloss Executive Producer
Annette Trumel Casting
Anne Walker-McBay Producer


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Before Sunset 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
goodgirl2 More than 1 year ago
I liked it. The ending you could tell he ended up with her because he did not leave to go on his plane. Its like they had chemistry like they did in the first movie.
sand-a-man More than 1 year ago
Boring, Rambling, Simple and Valueless I just don't get it. Review after review trumpets the merits (?!) of this film. All I can say is that my impression was something completely different, that is, as I struggled to watch this meaningless pap to its conclusion. Did I say conclusion? Even that word would require a new definition when applied to what occurred at the end of this film. A sequel to the almost-as-meaningless (but a little more substantive) Before Sunrise, this movie has that same couple, who have seen each other since their chance one-day meeting in Austria nine years before, encounter one another in Pairs on one stop of Ethan Hawke's book tour in Paris. They talk about their lives and accomplishments as they saunter through the city, occasionally breaking off for some coffee or to take a river boat ride on the Seine. Many say they find this presentation to be an accurate reflection of true life - a picture that is accurate because it is free of over-production. Well, perhaps that's the case, but only when compared to TV reality shows or mundane soap operas. It raises, as is so often the case in those kinds of productions, trivial pursuit to the level of significance. Unfortunately, there's nothing of consequence here. It's simply not important or even moving. Romance? Really? Weren't not even sure if there is any chemistry between these two- the setting is simply too lifeless. This isn't a portrayal of two people in love, but an excursion into nonsense. We feel they are merely saying, and not too enthusiastically, "Oh, dear, what can we do? Are our lives incomplete without each other?" But, of course, questions like that aren't answered either in the meandering conversation. All of this occurs in an afternoon and early evening with dialogue that some have commented appears so spontaneous. Well, maybe that's because it was. Much of what we hear the actors say was impromptu. The director wanted it that way- reality again!! But their words are no more important or defining than an exchange between of any two somewhat educated [and not necessarily connected] people on any given day in a modern urban setting. So?? What's the point?! I can say that the camera footage is splendid, but it always helps when the background is Paris. Otherwise, this is a lot of . . . . Well, nothing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a really soft romantic movie, I wished I saw "before sunrise"
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie is very nice and romantic, it tells an hour story of two lovers, it's one of my best movies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best movies I have seen recently. The dialogue between the two characters is funny, witty and emotional without being too overdone or cliché. The chemistry and the connection between Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke seem effortless and real. In short this movie was super-well scripted, acted and directed and it managed to be very romantic without being too sweet or cutesy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Richard Linklater with the collaborative assistance of Ethan Hawke and Julie Delphy have advanced the relationship between the two characters to new heights. Utilizing a sense of maturity and realism to this heartfelt romantic trance has given the audience an arena of thought to carry well after the movie has ended. The dialogue was fresh, insightful and intelligent. You feel the emotional life and death that both characters have undergone for the last 9 years after their original meeting
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw "Before Sunrise" in the theatre and for the next nine years couldn't help wondering what happened to Jesse and Celine. When I found out about "Before Sunset" I couldn't believe I was finally getting an answer. I watched as they recreated the chemistry I so remembered. This movie launched me through the gamut of emotions from laughter to tears. In the end, I loved that the optimist or pessimist within me could read into the ending what it wished. I can only hope we revisit these two in another 10 years.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was actually a very interesting movie. The whole thing takes place in real time during a stroll, cup of coffee, short boat ride and short car ride through Paris. The couple does not stop talking once. Basically they are describing things that another director with a larger budget might have chosen to dramatize. Not that I don't like witty repertoire, but this was ridiculous. I mean it's clever enough, it is exactly the kind of conversation you might have if catching up with a one-night stand after 9 years. Though of course the "man" (Hawke) keeps somehow maneuvering the conversation back to jokes about getting the "woman" (Delpy) into the sack, which I found to be so juvenile. They skirt around touchy subjects like politics and religion and just when you think the conversation is going to turn into a debate they laugh and all is well (oh aren't they so cute). But I guess in real life that is what you would do with an acquaintance. The whole time we were watching we wondered what was going to happen. Something was going to happen. Nothing really does that isn't obvious. That's why I call this review a spoiler -- there is really nothing to spoil because nothing happens (and I don't mean nothing like Seinfeld's nothing which is really something, I mean NOTHING, just pleasant conversation). Don't get me wrong: the dialogue is very good. Ethan Hawke tends to pick very poetic touching movies. And any other night this would have made a good coffeehouse flick, but we were hoping for something with a little more meat. It was this or "Defending Your Life" and I really regret the decision we made! :) Best part of the movie: when Delpy sings the pretty waltz toward the end. Just lovely.
Hensa More than 1 year ago
After seeing "Before Sunrise", I could not wait to get my hands on this sequel. However, I was dissapointed that it did not have any romance in it as the first film did. While it is normal for two people, who have not seen each other in years, to talk a lot and catch up on each other's lives, one would think that there would also be some rekindling of the romance they once shared so long ago. Because there was too much verbal communication between the characters, the film seemed to run a bit slow.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well at least it's shot in Paris! What the heck was this? Almost two hours of rambling, insignificant nonsense, bordering sometimes on hilarity it was so melo-dramatic and oversentimental. What was the point? We are introduced to two lovers who knew each other briefly in Vienna, were supposed to rendezvous, didn't, and now have met once again 9 years later. Despite everything, there we are left with a questionable ending. If I were kind, I'd say the lighting and shots were good. Paris looks great, although we don't see enough of it to compensate for the poor quality of the script. This obviously was made for those who just want to bathe themselves in unending never-never. Ugh!!
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