Before Sunset Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ May 28, 2014
The original Richard Linklater classic featured two fresh, young voices, finding each other in a spontaneous bohemian kind of way. Nine years, and a trail of failed relationships later, and our lovers find each other in Paris, beginning again from the ruins of their shared past. Beautiful for its Parisian sights, but also for its lovelorn dialogue, this film works principally because it's a simple tale of love, having less to do with a pair's story and more with the mechanics of their love affair. The characters are interesting, their conversations are crisp and new, and we as the audience revel in their experience, but also in finding out the answers to our questions from the first film. Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke work well together to create an organic and truly magical partnership as Celine and Jesse, and we watch because of their chemistry. The films not only circle around an interesting couple, but show love's evolution and fragility.
Super Reviewer
March 13, 2011
Perfect sequel. Not many like this one.
Super Reviewer
August 26, 2007
Nine years later another chance meeting for the American guy and European lady in Paris. A chance for more adventure.
Super Reviewer
½ June 15, 2006
The predecessor in which Hawke and Delpy walked through Vienna talking had an open ending. Now, years later they meet at his book reading telling the story, this time in Paris. Again, the film is little more than two people walking through a city, talking and again it works perfectly, thanks to the great chemistry between the two characters, their topics and dialogs, which hold a lot of ultimate truths about life and love. Surprisingly, Paris is not as charming a background as Vienna used to be. The result is still really charming and entertaining, like a lovely stroll through a beautiful city with someone special.
Super Reviewer
½ October 7, 2013
Following the masterpiece that the first film was, "Before Sunset" picks up 9 years later after he has written a book based on the night they spent together in the first. Again, this film is driven by the performances and the screenplay which is 100% dialogue driven. Watching these two converse for the length of a feature film is more than satisfying, but that is due to the fact that the director writes the dialogue with the actors who will be portraying these wonderfully developed characters. I fell in love with the first movie the first time I watched it, but I just cannot say the same about this film. It was just as enjoyable, but a lot has changed since their last meet and a few things they do just feels wrong. Again, the long takes and beautiful establishing shots are war sell this film. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy give terrific performances and you truly do feel the connection between them. In the end, this film is great for what it is, but it just is no match for the brilliance the first one pulled off.
Super Reviewer
½ August 21, 2010
More cynical, more grown up, but just as beautiful and immediately real as its predecessor. Full review later.
Super Reviewer
½ May 14, 2007
Linklater continues to amaze. Before Sunset not only retains the same naturalistic enchantment, but does so an impressive nine years after the original came into existence. How many sequels can say the same?
Super Reviewer
½ June 30, 2013
This film, like its predecessor, should not be as good as it is. I can't believe how an hour and a half of two people talking can be this entertaining. A lot of credit goes to the writing, a lot to the terrific actors, but most to the chemistry between Delpy and Hawke. The film's premise does put a cap on how good it can be, but the film really maximizes the space it is given.
Super Reviewer
May 30, 2013

"Before Sunset" is probably my number 2 favorite "romantic" movie of all time("Love Actually" being number 1). This is a sequel to "Before Sunset" and takes place 9 years later(and was actually made 9 years later). Jesse(Ethan Hawke) wrote a book about his one night in Vienna with Celine(Julie Duply) and goes on a book tour to promote it. While doing interviews on the last stop in Paris, he meets up with Celine again and they spend the day walking and talking through Paris before his flight back to the states. This movie doesn't miss a beat from the first one and is just as natural and moving. There are some very funny scenes, and some scenes that will really get your mind to work. I don't know if I've ever watched a movie that makes you see yourself through characters eyes quite as good as this movie. Also, the ending of this movie is perfect. One of my favorite all time endings ever. I remember the only reason I watched this or the first one was because it was nominated for an Oscar for best Screenplay back in 2004, and I just loved it. I don't remember what won it, but this deserved it for sure! There is a third one coming out this summer that I cannot wait to see. If you haven't seen either of the "Before" movies, then you NEED to check them out. They are absolutely fantastic that anyone who has been in a good relationship, or had a brief relationship that left you with "what ifs?" should watch. One of the rare times where the sequel is better than the already amazing original.
Super Reviewer
February 3, 2007
A masterpiece. A superbly written and superbly performed picture. Smart, funny and deeply moving. A magnificent piece of romantic film-making. The actors return to the essence of their characters and show how they developed and matured over the years. A film in which discusses real situations, moments and regrets. A wonderfully bittersweet ending which makes you want to know what happens next. It's captivating and complex and you cant help but feel sucked in. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are superb, they have magnetic chemistry that works wonderfully. A tremendously compelling character piece.
Super Reviewer
February 28, 2013
'Before Sunset'. This sequel carries through everything that is right and good about those long walks, intellectual conversations and natural, wonderful chemistry.

It builds on its predecessor, bringing with it the disappointment and responsibility of life, tackling love from yet another angle. The revelation that both have moved on, triggered by a non-event, living satisfactory, but empty lives is tragic. The recollecting of the past decade coupled with their present joy creates a bitter-sweet tone throughout, while that ending can bring only hope!
Super Reviewer
½ February 14, 2013
Just like ''Before Sunrise'', the sequel works beautifully through the great script and electrifying chemistry between Hawke and Delpy. The rich characters and the way it's effortlessly crafted make ''Before Sunset'' a spell-binding romance...and the ending is just perfection.
Super Reviewer
January 22, 2013
In 1994, Richard Linklater told us the story of two young people -- Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy -- meeting in Vienna, getting to know each other, and falling in love in Before Sunrise. Nine years later, Celine and Jesse met again, and they continued the conversation that they started almost a decade prior. It is rare that a sequel manages to stand above the original, but Before Sunset is just such a film. Also, incredibly enough, this film manages to elevate its predecessor as well: some of the flaws of Sunrise, I know realize, were intentional. It's a true testament to amazing writing -- the conversations, much like the characters, have evolved. They are more measured, emotionally astute, but brilliantly enough, they are never void of the raw yearning for love and connection that has made these films resonate with so many people.

Like its predecessor, Before Sunset is short on plot and heavy on the dialogue, following Celine and Jesse through Paris as the latter kills time before flying back to the States; he has finished a book tour through Europe to promote his new novel, written about his encounter with Celine. But the conversation has changed in this continuation of the first film; they talk about how their lives unfolded in the interim between first meeting and reuniting. The change in the discussion is natural given the time that has gone by, and it's challenging material for anyone, single or otherwise. The unflinching examination of relationships and unrequited love is told with incredible technical proficiency; it is shot in real-time using long, uninterrupted takes that go on for as long as seven minutes before cutting to a new shot. Capturing actors talking to each other for that long is a feat in itself, but doing so as said actors walk through a crowded city street is nothing short of a marvel. There may be films in this decade with more panache and flair, but I guarantee you will find few that boast the same level of technical artistry.

Much has been made about the ending, but I found it to be PERFECT. The slow fade, the utter charm of Celine's Nina Simone impression, the ambiguity, and the wonderful look in Jesse's eyes as his youth, hope and happiness come rushing back to him while watching Celine dancing and singing (foreshadowed in the opening scene).

Of course Hawke and Delpy are sublime. This film requires incredibly subtle acting, and these are Oscar worthy performances that weren't recognized. Why? Because they are not showy. But don't be mistaken: this is acting at its finest. Much of this film, like life, is acted with the eyes. Witness how Hawke stares at Delpy as she discusses her failed relationships on the ferry, or the sadness and longing in Delpy's eyes as she sings her love song.

I contend that this film is better than the first, because it provides a more unique perspective. In Sunset, we see the sobering effects of age and disappointment etched in their faces and clouding their lives. There is more at stake here, for they are nine years older, have made their share of mistakes, feel imprisoned by responsibilities, and must confront their shortcomings and problems. This is how European Cinema used to be -- and Hollywood, too for that matter. Naturally real and magical in the details. An amazing achievement.
Super Reviewer
½ February 25, 2012
A great sequel that lives up to the expectations of the first. Before Sunset, like the first, is both heartfelt and sweet, but what makes this different is its more mature take on love, mainly on choices pertaining to it, love lost and found. Delphy and Hawke also matures along with the movie but still retaining the same old great chemistry of the first which made this movie work in the first place.
paul o.
Super Reviewer
December 29, 2011
I saw this before Before Sunrise and that may have changed my perspective on this film. I was completely unknown about the lover's previous relationship but in the end, a lot is shown about the beautiful bond between these two lovers. It shows off Paris while giving us a nice story on the side. Julie Delpy shines and helps bring out Ethan Hawke's talents. Its a great watch and another film to remember Richard Linklater by.
Super Reviewer
August 6, 2011
"Before Sunset" is everything I want from a sequel. Here is a magnificent, real time, sequel to one of the independent masterpieces of the 1990s. The film is tinged with a sweet melancholy and explores the nature of memory and the lasting effects of connection. Transcendent and deeply moving, "Before Sunset" was the finest film of 2004.
Super Reviewer
½ December 17, 2008
"Memory is a wonderful thing if you don't have to deal with the past."

It's nine years after Jesse and Celine first met; now, they encounter one another on the French leg of Jesse's book tour.

Filmmaker Richard Linklater reunites with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in this follow-up to their romantic comedy/drama 'Before Sunrise' nine years later where the one-night standers are inevitably reunited when Hawke is in France for a book-reading of a thinly-veiled account of their wonderful day and night together. Picking up almost immediately from their last encounter the two chatty and intelligently pleasant lovers try to rekindle a lost flame but more importantly self-discover just where they are in life with some very funny and poignant almost improvised dialogue (the three artists collaborated on the script and storytelling at hand) which runs breezily thanks in large part to the exquisitely beautiful French locations in an effortless non-stop walk between the two (Lee Daniel's documentary-like cinematography gets the job done). Once again love triumphs for even the most cynical valentine wannabes.
Super Reviewer
½ January 5, 2011
Nine years after they met and bonded over the course of a night in Vienna, an American guy named Jesse and a French woman named Celine meet up once again by chance in Paris and spend an afternoon trying to reconnect and pick up where they left off.

This sequel to the wonderful and brilliant Before Sunrise is not quite the masterpiece like its predecessor is, but this still worthy of getting a letter grade of "A". Where the first film was a romantic and heartfelt story that proved to Generation X-ers that it was possible to fall in love in a non-ironic way, this one is a breezy 80 real-time examination of regret, remorse, and the hope of regaining what's been lost. It's also less of an examination of things on gendered lines, and more of a broad generational statement about how things are once people mature and enter their 30s.

Told through a series of long takes and tracking shots (but not exclusively), this story is full of heart, wisdom, and pain, but not once does it come across as false, pandering, or fantastical. It's just as real and touching as the first film, although, as to be expected, the romanticness of things is restrained. These charactrs have mostly moved on and matured, although Jesse seems to have taken longer to do so. Celine on the other hand, is just about as miserable and unsatisfied, but is carrying a lot more neuroses than before.

The way I'm writing might make it sound like this movie is really a bummer, and it is to an extent, but not really. Honestly, it's kind of hard for me to explain it. Let's just say that it's not all sugar coated, but it's not all gloom and doom either. The performances are once again excellent, if not maybe just a tad better than before. The camera work is nice, the writing is sharp, and the ending is the best possible conclusion that there could be given the nature of the situation and characters.

One could probably see this without having seen the first one and probably get it, but I wouldn't recomend that. See Before Sunrise, then see this one. Doing so will take a bit more time, but it is totally worth it and it makes this one even better. So yeah, I recommend this one, but take the above advice first.
Super Reviewer
January 9, 2011
I loved it even better than 'Before Sunset'. The way Jesse & Celine have evolved shows how life take its toll in the space of 10 years.
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2011
It's just as good as the original because it takes everything that I loved about the characters and just took it further. It's really interesting to see the same people pick up after almost 10 years apart and having it seem like they never were apart. Ethan Hawke especially gives such an amazing performance, debatably even better than the original. Julie Delpy is great too and I think part of her character was meant to be anti-romantic. What really puts this movie into the category of unforgettable though is about the last twenty minutes, it's just unlike any other love story ever told and in many ways one of the most emotional.
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