Before Sunset - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Before Sunset Reviews

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February 5, 2016
Completely overrated as the movie is tremendously boring but to give it credit, the performances were wonderful and the cinematography was lovely.
January 20, 2016
Most appealing about the "Before ..." films is that their romance is consuming without being in your face about it. In them, we are witnesses to the relationship between the greatest cinematic couple of the 1990s, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and CÚline (Julie Delpy), but we aren't moved by their love because they can't keep their hands off each other, because physical passion is sexier than anything us average folks could muster. We're are, instead, moved by watching them speak to each other, divulging their laments on life, love, their fears, their pleasures. Affection hovers in their eyes, but their relation is as cerebral as it is physically magnetic. We could listen to them converse for days, their musings wise yet sweeping when in the presence of the other.
"Before Sunset" is an improvement from its predecessor, the wonderful "Before Sunrise" (1995), the characters being older and less optimistic than they once were, the content establishing itself as more involving, and with a screenplay written by the leading actors themselves and thereby strengthening the likable realism of the film. More is at stake, a sense of yearning for fulfillment being much more urgent. The fleeting nature of "Before Sunrise" is nowhere to be found, a special, temporary night being replaced by a now-or-never afternoon in which self-reflection is integral. And we like Jesse and CÚline more now, fond of how they've matured in the crossroads of being a thirty-something.
Because much has changed in the nine years since they saw each other last: Jesse is unhappily married and has a young son, and CÚline has dedicated her professional life to a sizable amount of activism. Them coming across each other by too-good-to-be-true chance perhaps isn't so strange: Jesse has become a hugely successful author in the last decade or so, his latest best-seller being a semi-autobiographical tale about his fateful night with CÚline. He's on a press tour, his last stop Paris. CÚline catches him just as he's leaving what she bills her "favorite bookstore." And so begins hours of chatter, both small and big, both witty and confessional.
Those familiar with "Before Sunrise" might recall an ending that promised that the central twosome would meet again in Vienna after six months, exchanging no contact information solely because trust seemed like enough. But in "Before Sunset," it is revealed that, while Jesse came as promised, CÚline did not, due to familial tragedy. This change of fate acts as the center of the film - what would have happened had the couple met again half-a-year later? they (and we) ask themselves (and ourselves) over and over again. And so the movie is a second chance, and a lyrical one at that.
We are embroiled in this relationship, and, differing from most film characters, we love Jesse and CÚline. We want them to be together in a way never felt in most romantic films, as we feel like we know them, have spent time with them, unlike most where a few cute incidents and dramatic make-out sessions are enough to enforce true love. Jesse and CÚline are the rare exception because their affection seems genuine; it's like watching people watch in love, and we take for granted what an enthralling experience that can be in the movies.
Most impressive is the repartee between Hawke, Delpy, and director Richard Linklater, who work together so fluidly that completing the sentence of the other wouldn't be out of the question. Hawke and Delpy have effervescent electricity running in-between them, and their dialogue, co-written with Linklater, suggests improvisation when the truth is totally otherwise. What they do here is enormously difficult - how can a sequel be a cohesive continuation, and how can a film whose success is solely based on conversation act as a feature? - but it looks effortless.
So where "Before Sunrise" was a poignant indie exercise, "Before Sunset" draws on what made it great and transforms itself into a poignant indie masterpiece. I cannot think of a modern romance film that has affected me so immensely - it's one of the best ever made, without all that Hugh and Julia bullshit that I sometimes like. Imagine that.
January 17, 2016
It is something common in Hollywood to create unnecessary sequels, and a common genre who is the target of this statement are romantic comedies, but considering how unique "Before Sunrise" was, it is shocking that Linklater decided to make a sequel nine years later. Does the romance between Jesse & Celine is a story worthy of a sequel? Is this as unique as "Sunrise"?
Nine years after the events of "Before Sunrise", Jesse has become a bestselling novelist thanks to a book based on the events of that night with Celine. On his promotional world tour, he ends up meeting Celine again in France.
While I understood why "Before Sunrise" achieved its cult status and I praised most of the techniques used to tell that story, I found it underwhelming to my taste thus I wasn't exactly anxious to see Jesse & Celine again, but surprisingly this sequel managed to surpass my expectations (which admittedly weren't that high to begin with). "Before Sunset" takes all that made its predecessor as beloved as it is: The acting is even better, Linklater┤s directing is more personal and even more showoffy due to some long takes, even gorgeous settings, the characters are more developed, the pacing takes advantage of every single minute of this short running time, the comedy is still somewhat funny, the interactions are as relatable as last time (or even more, or at least for me), the minimal soundtrack works when it is used, and the romance is taken to new directions but it still is believable. But the best thing of this sequel is the script. Thanks to Hawk and Delpy, the dialog is no longer the pretentious hippie Linklater┤s trademark, it is natural, adequate to the age of these characters, emotional when it's appropriate, and overall more engaging.
"Before Sunset" is one of those sequels that are undeniably better than the original. It has all the elements that made the first one as unique and enjoyable but mixed with a more mature script and even powerful emotional moments.
January 14, 2016
Incredible movie. Funny, sweet, incredibly realistic in its dialogue, due to the fantastic script from the film's stars, beautiful cinematography, and a fantastic chemistry from Hawke and Delpy. This follow-up to the fantastic 1995 film captures the real feel of these characters and their lives and the few hours they have together.
December 30, 2015
The sequel to 'Before Sunrise' and I didn't like it as much! Far too short, with a rushed conclusion. It's nice to catch up with Jesse & Celine when they run into each other in Paris and see what's been happening in their lives, as their walls slowly come back down, but it's not quite as charming now. Think there's only about five camera shots the whole film!
November 18, 2015
The movie is 81 minutes long and there isn't 5 seconds that aren't interested. The dialogue is perfect and the acting is divine. I wish Linklater would make a movie every few months.
½ November 16, 2015
Engaging, beautiful, well-acted, and even sad in a way. It is hard to think that a "talking" film with only 2 actors as its anchor can do this well, but it did. Was not as strong as Before Sunrise, and not as long as I would have liked it to be, but this was an amazing achievement in the art of romantic filmmaking
November 14, 2015
This is the best of the three in a series that most directors and writers could never even hope to achieve.
November 7, 2015
Brilliant, big-hearted and glowing with warmth. A must-see gem.
October 14, 2015
I was so shocked when the credits rolled on this film, I didn't believe it had already been an hour and 20 minutes! That the film is basically one single long conversation across Paris is so unique, even more so than the last film. It was so incredibly interesting and beautiful and special. So many interesting and big ideas were explored whilst similarly just following one small relationship. Amazing.
October 6, 2015
Absorbing and thorough. Like a French film with subtitles - but without the subtitles :)
½ September 22, 2015
It was watchable but didn't feel like there was really any storyline or much point to the movie.
September 11, 2015
Without a shadow of a doubt one of my top 10 films of all time, makes you feel better about life every time I watch it !!
½ September 3, 2015
This is the second in the trilogy and it is quite a bit better than the first. The dialogue has more layers to it along with the characters since the time has passed and their lives have changed. It is also shorter so it moves along at such a better pace that when the ending pops up on you it will have you wanting to watch the third one immediately. The acting is better by Hawke in this one as well. Julie Delpy is great again and unbelievably beautiful....that hurts nothing. Make sure to watch the first one before.
August 24, 2015
Not only does Before Sunset feature more brilliant chemistry from stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy and beautiful writing and direction from Richard Linklater, it's also more somber and poignant, and more hard-hitting overall, than its predecessor.
August 24, 2015
I love this one as much as the first, maybe more. The will they - won't they, and the real-time interaction is perfect.
August 22, 2015
Saw this on 22/8/15
Before Sunset is more realistic than most of the sequels of romantic films, but I surely missed the romanticism that was there in the original. There is no real justification for making this film, but since it was made, it's ok. The performances are fine, but the screen time is too low.
August 18, 2015
Before Sunset is the sequel to the compelling and terribly romantic Before Sunrise. To tell you the truth I did not expect the sequel to be as good as the original, and I based that assumption on the fact that the original was first and foremost a modern day classic, and the fact that sequels are generally not as good. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. I am not going to say that this film is better, but it is no worse either. It manages to equal it's predecessor perfectly and the best part is that it was 9 years since the first film was released and we are taken on a journey where we, like the characters, truly feel aged and more in tune with the world.
The film Before Sunset takes place in Paris as the two lovers Jessie (Hawke) and Celine (Julie) reunite after Jessie finishes talking about his recent bestselling book 'This Time,' which is based on that magical night that he and Celine shared nine years ago in Vienna. This time he sees her smiling at him from the back of the store, and for a moment it is as if time had stopped. He later confessed that he wrote the book in the hopes that he would see her again. Well that book accomplished its primary goal. We are treated to a few questions about the book at the beginning and we get three different view points. The first is from a romantic sure that they would meet each other 6 months after their promise, the other a cynic who is sure that they didn't, and the last a middle man who wants to believe but knows that they more than likely didn't. Well sadly the cynic proved to be right initially; they did not meet. Although we learn that he did come to Vienna and she did not because of the death of her grandmother. Jessie shows no outward pain, but it is clear from the comments that he makes throughout the film that this had hurt him and haunted him for nine years.
We catch up with their lives and initially they are talking about the better aspects of it as they talk about the normal topics that arise between a couple that is older: politics, their jobs, their relationships, kids, and we learn that Jessie is married with a son while Celine has a relationship with a photographer that is often gone. The whole place, like the previous film, is done in real time as they talk under the beautiful streets of Paris. This time though there is a sense of bitterness. They have aged and so have we. Whereas Vienna was practically a city of enchantment that night, Paris is like a wistful beauty that only symbolizes everything that they had missed those nine years and they are really just living in the past of what was so pure and beautiful and trying to get it back.
In the previous film Before Sunrise, they are young twenty somethings that are really naive and excited talking about the grand future that they have prepared and why not? They have their whole lives ahead of them. Time flies and here they are at the age of thirty two and we learn that Celine is in a relationship that she is not really into as with all her other relationships, and Jessie is really in a loveless marriage and is staying only for the sake of his son. Their lives have not turned out the way they had planned and it all revolves around that one fateful night. They cannot shake off the feeling that they should have been together. The most powerful moment of the film is on the boat when Jessie finally lets it out with a pained smile full of agony and full of that "what if" asking her "Why couldn't you have been there?" He knows that things would have been different, but like Celine mentions it is better to not think about the past in that sense because that will bring nothing but pain. However, they cannot escape it and they know that a piece of them was left there that night. Perhaps all their romantic ideals were left in Vienna for nothing had captured their hearts before or since. Celine yells at him in the car that her problems in her love life are due to that night and her troubles have begun again because of that book.
They are clearly in love and they are not changing that view point anytime soon. All of this leads up to an excellent ending that I will not disclose. This film's use of dialogue is again the focal point because that is all this film is: one giant conversation as Jessie and Celine catch up and fall in love all over again. This time the conversation is less youthful and less steeped with the romance of two young lovers. It is the conversation of a man and a woman who have experienced much in their near decade apart and have had their moments of pain and anguish while searching for meaning in their lives. The film has a somber tone to it, but it retains a hopefulness, or maybe it is just the after effects of a remembering something beautiful and letting the distant feeling of it take you just for a moment while you slowly comes to terms with the fact that it is the past and it is never coming back. Yes it is bitter sweet but that is the reality of it and it is a good reality because it holds not delusions of magic and unrealistic movie romance. It tries its best to make sure that the situations are believable and they do so almost too well. There is still that hope though. Still that connection and feeling that something can still happen at the right time if they just decide that they can give it a chance. However, at what cost?
Before Sunset is one of the most romantic and well acted movies that have been released in the past twenty years. The team of Hawke and Delpy match that of a Gable/Leigh, a Bogart/Bergman, and a DiCaprio/Winslet. They are almost perfectly in sync with everything that is going on around them and they react to each other as if they had been doing this for decades. There is something sweet when the actors have a chemistry that strong and it shows on the screen. I think that it will someday be considered a true classic and even if there are those that have not seen it, when it is played years from now it will retain that freshness and still touch those that take a chance on small budgets films that are really diamonds. You just got to look hard enough.
August 7, 2015
When I watched this film I had no idea about its first part. This was probably the first movie I felt in love with and also the one I've watched the most times. Then I was informed about the first part and watch it also but I think the second part is still the best, not even mentioning the third one.
This second part is basically the conversation between two characters. The mam and the women are talking about bunch of different things which are happening in their life but there conversations are really meaningful and interesting.
So, that's a love story. Very beautiful love story and very unique. The movie is full of beautiful scenes and moments you will love and rest like everything acting, directing, sounds, music, script and aaall rest are simply beautiful! You want regret watching this film.
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