WHAT IF YOU HAD A SECOND CHANCE WITH THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY?
Jesse (Ethan Hawke) is on a book tour to Europe and runs into Celine (Julie Delpy) in Paris, nine years after a night in Vienna that they’ll never forget. This sequel to Before Sunrise (1995) plays out in real time with a script co-written by the two stars who contributed their own personal experiences from the past nine years (in Hawke’s case, most likely his disintegrating marriage with Uma Thurman). Jesse and Celine are older and wiser, which is reflected in their conversations; perhaps they’re more cynical now, but they haven’t lost hope of a better life. Touching, romantic and revealing; expertly and patiently filmed by Richard Linklater.
2004-U.S. 80 min. Color. Produced by Richard Linklater, Anne Walker-McBay. Directed by Richard Linklater. Screenplay: Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy. Cast: Ethan Hawke (Jesse), Julie Delpy (Celine).
Trivia: Delpy wrote and performed three songs for the soundtrack. Followed by Before Midnight (2013).
Last word: “This one was harder because the first one had time cuts, it had montages. We met strangers and had other scenes and we were in amusement parks and on Ferris wheels and trains. This one is so stark and so naked that while the first one was considered incredibly naturalistic, this one takes naturalism to a whole [new] level compared to the first one. So it was much more difficult. It was the kind of thing where we knew if we did our jobs really well, it would look like we weren’t acting at all. But it is very hard to do that – to not have any plot to lean on. There’s no, ‘Let’s go over here’. There’s nothing to entertain you in the movie. It’s simple. It’s like an elegant documentary.” (Hawke, About.com)