Thursday, October 4, 2012

#780. Before Sunset (2004)

Directed By: Richard Linklater

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Vernon Dobtcheff

Tag line: "What if you had a second chance with the one that got away?"

Trivia: "Though this movie was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, the screenplay is not based upon any existing text. However, the Academy rule book says that all sequels are adaptations.

You make a date with a veritable stranger, and over the course of an evening, fall deeply in love with them. Plans are made to meet up again six months later, yet the next time you actually run into each other, nine years have come and gone. What exactly do you say to one another?

A sequel to the incredibly romantic Before Sunrise, Before Sunset presents another chance encounter between Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy), who had a fling in Vienna nine years earlier. In fact, this is the first time they’ve met up since that wonderfully passionate evening. With Paris serving as a backdrop, the two wander the streets and visit the cafes, talking about everything from politics to that night in Vienna, and how each could never get the other out of their mind.

The conversations between Jesse and Celine, which make up the bulk of Before Sunset, feel just as natural as they were in the original. Both Hawke and Delpy slip right back into character, recapturing the chemistry they once shared as the film goes to some lengths to convincingly “age” the two; their give-and-take, while still fascinating, is noticeably more cynical, perhaps a bit more worldly than what it was in Before Sunrise. Yet not even this can damper the feelings they clearly have for one another.

As it was with Before Sunrise, I enjoyed the time I spent in the company of Jesse and Celine, and was genuinely interested in finding out what happened to them after their tryst in Vienna. More than the reuniting two lovers, Before Sunset is also a reunion between these characters and their audience, and I, for one, was happy to have been present for it.

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