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View Full Version : Before Sunset (2004)


tlr online
07-02-05, 16:50
I mean, Ethan Hawthe isn't what I'd call a classic actor. Sure he can pull off most characters to a satisfactory degree, but I was extremely dubious prior to watching Before Sunset, which he co-stars with Julie Deply (even though those fine folk at IMDb gave the movie a collective 8.3 (6,583 votes))

"Jesse, a writer from the US, and Celine, a Frenchwoman working for an environment protection organisation, acquainted nine years ago on the train from Budapest to Vienna, meet again when Jesse arrives in Paris for a reading of his new book. As they have only a few hours until his plane leaves, they stroll through Paris, talking about their experiences, views and whether they still love each other, although Jesse is already married with a kid."

This movie is a delight, and they REALLY do not make them like this anymore. Before Sunset had a budget of 10 million, and you can bet your tights most of that went on Hawke's salary. The movie was shot on location in Paris, and concentrated on the two hours prior to Hawke flying back to LA to continue his book tour. His book is about a brief encounter with Celine (Deply) nine years earlier. Now thirty-something, both are forced to address whether that spark still exists, and if it's enough to fuel Hawke and Deply leaving their respective partners to continue where they left off.

The direction is simplicity, and it works. Most of the film is shot using portable cameras, so you are immediately living the drama as it unfolds, just as if you were actually walking in front of them. Most of the movie is about conversation. The script is tastefully mastered and the dialogue flows seamlessly between the two, and really addresses the problems folk come up against later in life. Gone is the fool-hardy romance both had experienced nine year earlier, and in its place is real problems and real life. Deply plays a green-peace activist, Hawke is typical a American, but someone sceptical of a country polluting the world and promoting industrial arrogance and shunting global harmony (Deply punch lines this numerous times during their walk), and their connection is enchanting.

The ending is quite possibly quintessential French noir. It's perfect! I won't spoil it by indulging too much, but this is classic cinema in the twenty first century, and worthy of the one hour twenty you’ll spend watching it.

Four stars.

laracroft8290
07-02-05, 17:51
Did you see the first? It's called Before Sunrise and it's just as good as Before Sunset.

Sin
07-02-05, 17:55
Yes laracroft8290!