Kristin from All Eyes On Screen is next up in the ‘Recommended By‘ blogathon. She’s here today to offer up her thoughts on Before Sunrise. Please enjoy, and of course then go check out Kristin’s great site!
First, big thanks to Tyson for letting me submit my entry beyond the deadline. I wanted to participate, but I just fell behind, so thanks for your graciousness, Tyson!
Caz, writer for her Let’s Go To the Movies site, has been a great source of encouragement to me. Since I returned to blogging full-time this past July, it has required a lot of work to get back into the blogosphere, and Caz is one of those fellow bloggers who has been supportive and kind throughout, not only writing great reviews and posts, but also generous in visiting and commenting on my own site. I appreciate her style of writing and her dedication she gives to making her site enjoyable and interesting to read. I would highly recommend her site to anyone looking for a great movie blog out there!
In mid-August, I noticed that Caz had published reviews on both Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004), two movies I had been interested in viewing for quite a while. So I decided that Before Sunrise should become my “Recommended by” film.
Jesse (Ethan Hawke) is dressed like your typical American ‘90s guy. Blue jeans and black converse, slick hair that makes you think of Shawn from Boy Meets World, and a sweet, welcoming smile. Celine, played so naturally and delicately by Julie Delpy, is a French girl with pet peeves, earnestness, and passion. It’s difficult not to fall in love with Delpy’s performance as much as you enjoy watching Celine on screen.
The meet cute happens on a train. Jesse convinces Celine to get off with him in Vienna to enjoy his final day in Europe. They meet a few people along the way, but there’s no one so notable that they’re worth drawing attention to. Before Sunrise is a movie that doesn’t feel like a movie, because it involves conversation that many people have shared before. Jesse and Celine talk about death, parents, and past relationships. There were moments when I remember feeling the buzz of excitement and tender awkwardness when I went on my first and second dates with my husband, and Before Sunrise sets them up so beautifully that you feel privileged to join these two human beings on this romantic journey.
Before Sunrise is focused on its writing, primarily the dialogue between the two leads. It’s not so much about the location or even what the characters do as much as it is about what they talk about, that flow of excitement as two strangers connect, the chemistry shared between the characters. Both Celine and Jesse were so relatable, that there were moments I was sure I was experiencing something similar, like when Jesse talked about having a BS detector, declaring that he “could never get very excited about other people’s ambitions for my life.” Or when Celine interrupts the conversation about feminism, and makes an interesting point: “I always feel this pressure of being a strong and independent icon of womanhood, and without making it look my whole life is revolving around some guy. But loving someone, and being loved means so much to me. We always make fun of it and stuff. But isn’t everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?”
Unbeknownst to me, Before Sunrise received a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes, and an 8.1 score at IMDB. Richard Linklater, both the director and writer of the film, deserves the accolades for penning and directing this beautiful film. The lead performances are captivating, especially Julie Delpy’s. It’s funny, because the very first time I saw her on screen was in her sophomore directorial production, 2 Days in New York (2012), where she played opposite of Chris Rock. I imagine Delpy hoped to recreate a similar format as the “Before” series, given that 2 Days in New York was the follow-up to her directorial debut 2 Days in Paris (2007), where she played the same character.
I loved Before Sunrise, and I’m very excited to view Before Sunset and Before Midnight (2013) soon. I owe a huge thanks to Caz for recommending the film series to me, and thanks to Tyson for hosting this great blogathan!