Before Sunrise (1995)
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I saw this film by accident one night late on television. I have never forgotten it. So well is it made that the audience never question if this could ever really happen in life, reality being so absolutely characterised in it.
'Before Sunrise' is simply the story of two strangers bound in Vienna's lonely night splendour - one night of love in all its glory, one superb piece of film making.
Before Sunrise works principally for two reasons - realistic acting and an immense script that builds the characters through their thoughts and feelings and thus allows us to get to know them as we do the people in real life. This allows the characters to be free, and it's easy to believe that these are real people and not just actors working from a script. This also allows us to feel for the characters for who they are, and not merely because they're the protagonists. This kind of realism is hard to capture as, at the end of the day, we as the audience know that they're watching a film and not observing real life; but Before Sunrise represents one of the truest to life exhibitions of realism ever to be seen on screen. A truly great script cannot work on it's own, and needs great actors to deliver it to an extent that does it justice, and although I'm not a fan of either Julie Deply or Ethan Hawke; on viewing this film, there is nothing you can do but give them both respect. I don't know whether they were in character or just playing themselves, but when a film is this good; it hardly matters.
In a film like this, it is the writing that's the most important thing, and contained within the script are several observations about life, most of which I personally could relate to. This represents what Richard Linklater has achieved with this script as not only does it create and build the characters, but it also manages to expose what true love is, along with several other aspects of life. The fact that not all the anecdotes are relatable to me personally again represents the brilliance of writing. Everyone is different, and so different parts of the script will appeal to different people. There could be certain aspects about one person that one person loves and another hates; and that's the case with the musings in this script. Adding to the beauty of the film is the city of Vienna. The city itself isn't really important to the film as this is a story that could have taken place just about anywhere - but it makes for some lovely visuals and the upbeat, energetic romance that blossoms throughout the movie is matched by the beauty of the location.
Before Sunrise is simultaneously beautiful and captivating. Richard Linklater has created something that is rare in the world of cinema; a film that captures the beauty of life without ever going over the top or being overly sentimental. Before Sunrise is what it is. And what it is, is pure cinematic brilliance.
"Before Sunrise" is one of my favorite romances, indeed one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever seen. It is a low budget movie with a very simple and real storyline, but the chemistry between Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy is perfect, and the dialogs are stunning. The direction is amazing, transmitting the feelings of Celine and Jesse to the viewer. I have just completed my review number 1,000 in IMDb, and I choose "Before Sunrise" for this significant number because it is a very special film for me. I cannot understand why this movie was not nominated to the Oscar, with such a magnificent screenplay, direction and performances. Yesterday I have probably watched this movie for the third or fourth time, and I still love it. My vote is ten.
Title (Brazil): "Antes do Amanhecer" ("Before Sunrise")
I have to say i was now becoming misanthropist and felt like if love was just a fake, a concept, but with this movie i realized that maybe somewhere, somehow and some when, something could really happen.
I'm french and didn't know very well July Delpy despite Kieslowski "three colors : white"... Now i have to see her other works because she looks like an angel and got a perfect acting.
i saw "before sunset" (the sequel in Paris) a few days before i saw "before sunrise" and their is no matter. They are both masterpieces. proof that you don't need to impress the eyes with technology to get pure feelings. I'm sorry for my English which i m trying to best.
Franck in France
The movie 'Before Sunrise' just caught me watching it. I never had intention to watch it through, but because the discussion between the couple seemed interesting, I gave a look for the rest of the film. I didn't know what to expect from it, but nor did the young couple. They had time to discuss with each other until the sunrise and anything could happen before they had to separate. I believe this film has had good reviews because the situation is something that everybody on this planet has at least once or twice lived through. It makes us all think about all those people we have met only once in our lives.
The script, the characters and even the slightly surreal atmosphere feel totally realistic. The actors play absolutely brilliantly. Rarely have I seen a movie where the script and the acting has melted this perfectly together.
The dialogue moves into very personal issues, with the risk of becoming a little over the top. It does, however, stay on the right side almost all the time, although I found a few moments a little awkward and embarrassing. Balancing on this fine line demands outrageously talented actors. Sometimes, it yields great results, and overall this movie is simply stupendous! Only very, very rarely is "love" in films depicted in a way that I find trustworthy and realistic. Every time that is achieved, the result is fantastic. I think the stunning and apparently timeless beauty of the female lead actress helped quite a bit in this respect. She still looks stunning in this film, 12 years after.
This is simply a gem of a movie that you can't miss. One of the best movies I have seen from the 1990s!
Before Sunrise gives Jessie and Celine, in the midst of the gorgeous Vienna scenery and locales to go on and on about subjects that have a lot of importance, and in a sense is about the act of having conversations, of what it's like to watch people having one leading into another and another. Here it's often about relationships and commitments, as Jessie and Celine tell stories sometimes somewhat inconsequential, or seemingly so, and another that may tell a lot about their essential qualities. We hear confessions of desires for other loves, or what weren't really loves, of being part of a family or part of an upbringing that may or may not inform how you'll love your life, of what it means to believe or not believe in some religious form, or just to have some connection to any faith and the soul (I loved the bit about the quakers in the church), and sometimes laced with cynicism or skepticism. Jessie may be more responsible for that last part, but what's fascinating about the film is that it's never exactly cynical itself, just commenting upon cynicism that lays in the concerns of men and women at that age of their lives.
Meanwhile, it's always great to see Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in these roles, where they're not incessantly annoying in that 90s Generation-X mode, but are the kinds of people where if not in the central conceit of the film, which isn't a bad one at all but a necessary one, one might think to find walking along the streets of a city somewhere. The conceit is that of an old romantic picture ala Brief Encounter, only here intimacy is expressed in the central characters either between each other, where sweet asides are actually acceptable ("I have to tell you a secret", Jessie says, and then leans in for a kiss, ho-ho), or in the little moments that pop up with other people along the way. I loved the scene with the poet, where it's very cinematic a thing to suddenly find a random romantic bit player in the midst of a romantic picture with such beautiful words at his disposal, or with the palm reader and how the reactions from Jessie and Celine are that we might share, but really are seeing them do it first-hand. All the while Hawke and Delpy embody the roles interestingly- we can see how neuroses are being formed already for their adult lives- as it may lead off into the future...
Featuring splendid cinematography and a script with an ear for natural wit and a true sense of what it means to have a moment of happiness, however self-contained, as it may lead into something more. Who's to say you can't suddenly be attached to someone, if only for less than 24 hours, and be that much more attached than a married couple? This is perhaps Linklater's thesis, but there's more to it than just that. It's a very dense film, and one that will have me calling back to it repeatedly. One scene especially, which is both cheesy and brilliant is when the two of them are talking 'on the phone' in front of each other mimicking their expositions might go to the other's friend. A+
This is "love" in the real world. OK, that's only if most people are as intelligent and eloquent as the leads in the movie. Reading the other reviews, it pleases me to know how so many other folks are crazy over dialog-based movies as well. And this is what makes "Before Sunrise" so good. The dialog is perfect. It's so real, so engaging and funny. It's hardly a surprise that Jesse and Celine fall in love, 'coz you fall in love with them at the very same time.
My favorite scene is the one in the coffee shop, where they pretend to phone their best friends, with the other pretending to be said best friend. It's PERFECT. Brings you back to the very moment when you fell in love for the very first time in your life.
I must say that if you have a choice, do watch "Before Sunrise" before watching "Before Sunset". If like me, you watched "Sunset" first, it's hard to shake off the feeling of pity and sadness for the two young lovers throughout the entire show.
Once again, the greatest romantic movie in my books. Wonderful acting, excellent script, and beautiful locations. Young love, at it's best.
It's easily one of the best romantic movies I have ever seen. Now romance need not be just physical but conversational, and this movie drives all way through in conversation between a couple, a pair. When I saw it first time my enthusiasm was only if the boy-girl be together or part. Once I saw if for first time, each time I was more in love with the conversation they had.
The story, the plot is simple its a boy meets girl and we have got to see a romance budding like a blossoming flower that is gonna be so very beautiful the next dawn. Now, had the conversation be kiddish and childish as they happen in our marriage looks (typically Indian marriage looks) where the boy and girl as each other their interests, their likes and dislikes, this could have been a bore, the conversation is so very intriguing ranging from what pisses you off to how we dream our own world to be.
It's all about Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) and what a day of a lifetime it was for them so it shall be for us, I promise for us if we care to watch such movies with a ear and a heart.
Now, there are so many subdued underlying themes in this that can be found if we sit and just explore even a poem on milkshake seems to be saying something about a lifestyle. This movie is more about life than about anything else. It's a must watch for all those who just love the love we want to have or we are already having in our own lives. Just have time for this and get your ears for words seem like music all through.
Just love it and will keep loving it. It's 5/5 for one of the best romances ever.
Whoever said Ethan Hawke (was it Mrskunk?) had 2 expressions was exactly right. Most of the time he smirked. And the dialogue! Were we supposed to find it interesting? Amusing? To me, it was the musings of immature adults, and why were their musings any more interesting than yours or mine? Maybe that was the point - maybe the director was parodying the self-importance of teenagers and those slightly older. Was there any insight at all in all that talking? I couldn't find any. Not one single insight. Did you happen to notice that the whole time they talked about themselves? I include their philosophical comments, because they are about their own philosophy, not anyone else's. As far as they (and those of us who were trapped in their universe) were concerned the world did not exist. They wouldn't notice anything happening outside themselves. Could you ask for a better example of solipsism?
I can't believe people think this is one of the greatest films ever made, a great romance, etc. If you want to see a great romance, rent "Notorious" or "Live Flesh" or, I could go on and on. Just like the movie. But I won't.
I fear that this is a case of the "Emperor's New Clothes." Some critics called it a great film, so others jump on the bandwagon to show that they too have good taste.
Believe me, this is not great filmmaking and this is not a great film. It's just an extremely boring film.
You were warned.
Perhaps it wouldn't have been so bad if there had been some sort of chemistry between Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. I mean, after all, even annoying frat boys can fall in love. But no. The two are so incompatibly different that, despite what the script says, none of the flirtations are believable. I imagine the minute the director yelled "cut", Julie would spin around and head straight for her trailer. Ethan would go soak his head. The problem is that the director never yells "cut". Instead we are subjected to watching the awkward, contrived and stiff ramblings of these two people who have nothing in common except for the script.
I saw what the director was trying to do. He was trying to capture the poetry of life through long, continuous shots and mundane dialogue. He was trying to show us how wonderful the simplicity of everyday life can be. But there is nothing artistic or poetic about the shots, the dialogue or the emotion on screen. The whole thing feels like an awkward date you just cant wait to ditch.
"Before Sunrise" is like "When Harry Met Sally", except without the humour, the charm, the witty style, the plot or the music. In essence, there is no reason to watch this movie. If you do watch this movie, make sure you're not sitting near anyone or you might get smacked.
Before sunrise? Heh, I think I'll sleep in.
The movie works as a communion of two fragile souls that are starting to get to know each other. It is very intelligent and inspiring, not so much in how one conversation necessarily ties into the next or the significance of the topics of Jesse and Celine's discussions, but rather the little nuances, the perfectly articulate responses they provoke from each other. It captures an honest, romantic, yet fleeting human emotion that is starting to blossom in the awesomely sublime Viennese milieu; it convinces us that their evanescent relationship might be the greatest compliment in the world. And what happens after that night is open for debate, but I never doubt that they won't each other again.
The facile comments by RockytheBear and the below user are hopeless examples of a doctrinaire dissenter unwilling to accept and respect those who love this movie.
See it and it may change your way of life.
The acting is sub-par. Ethan Hawke was okay, though his character was extremely annoying. Julie Delpy, on the other hand, delivered her lines devoid of any emotion. Her way of attempting emotion was to simply stare out the window.
This movie appeared to be made simply because the writer wanted other people to hear his ideas about life. This is fine, as many movies have been made for this purpose. However, the flaw here is that this is the only point to the movie. There isn't any connecting plot at all, just a series of conversations. The movie "Tape" (also w/ Ethan Hawke) is also just a series of conversations, though the only setting is one hotel room and the movie is actually just one really long scene. However, "Tape" actually is entertaining in that the conversations have a point and actually move the characters to some sort of resolution or change - this is where "Before Sunrise" fails.
To sum up, if you have insomnia, this "film" is your cure. Or, if you're a hermit and you miss having conversations with people, then this will provide for a substitute to interacting with others...just don't plan to be entertained.