Archive for the ‘Before Sunset’ Category

Before Sunset – review – Film Comment #20

Film Comment #20 – Before Sunset – Richard Linklater – 2004


“Before Sunset” picks up 9 years after the events of “Before Sunrise”. Ethan Hawke’s character, Jesse, has returned to Paris promoting his book which chronicles the events that happened in “Before Sunrise”. As he is explaining the book at a signing event; Julie Delpy’s character, Celine, happens to show up. They walk and talk around the city, which is nothing new from the first film, but it is one of the things that made the first film, and this film so great.

They talk about what has happened to the two of them since they last met, never meeting up six months after their first encounter like they pledged to. We soon learn that Jesse is married, and Celine has spent her time working for an environmental agency. They continue to walk around Paris re-connecting, and re-learning each other. The discuss how they’ve grown over time, how things have changed over time, and also seem to differ on what happened that nite nine years ago. The film has this very intimate quality to it like many of the Antoine Doinel films by Francois Truffaut, in which we just follow the average, every day activity of the character, but it’s fascinating. Linklater’s attempt is to make you live with, and inside the skin of these characters, and he does it so well.

“Before Sunset” is a sequel in the truest sense of the word. Both these films are dialogue driven and rely completely on the shoulders of the two characters. It is an intimate portrait of a couple that attempts to re-connect and re-live a moment suspended in time. It was my #10 pick of the year in 2004, and for all those romantics out there, this is what a romantic comedy/drama is all about.

Grade: A