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other new + recent LAZE features:
o Flick: Before Sunset
: Deadwood, Carnevale
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: Minority Report
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: The Motorcycle Diaries
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flick pick | Before Sunrise 1995
Directed by: Richard Linklater
Written by: Richard Linklater, Kim Krizan
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy
Language: English
Look for it at the video store under: drama, romance
Watch it when you’re in the mood for something: lovey, quintessentially quasi-adult
The critic says: / 5 the rating system explained
Fun factor: /5 

Plot synopsis Jesse is an American twentysomething at the tail end of a solo trip backpacking around Europe. Celine is a young French woman who's been visiting her grandmother and is now en route to Paris to begin grad school. The two find themselves sharing a train car between Budapest and Vienna, where Jesse notices the rather fetching Celine sitting alone a few seats up, and gets up the nerve to join her. They strike up a conversation, which rapidly progresses from the usual strangers-on-a-train chit-chat into something a whole lot more interesting. When the train pulls into Vienna, the conversation is just starting to get really good and it's clear that there's an attraction on both ends. On a crazy whim, Jesse decides to ask Celine to get off the train in Vienna with him. He has a half-day to kill before he has to catch a plane back to America the next morning, and he'd much rather spend the time with Celine than wandering around a strange city all by his lonesome. Celine, amazingly enough, accepts his invitation. In the fourteen hours that follow, Jesse and Celine roam the streets of Vienna, debating politics and culture, talking about past loves, sharing their deepest insecurities, and falling in love.

Review Before Sunrise doesn't feel much like an American movie, and not just because of its beautiful Old World Viennese setting. It's the sort of artsy, bittersweet, slice-of-life drama that seems a staple of foreign cinema, and is likely to elicit groans of boredom from those who like their movie entertainment slick and glossy, cheerfully Hollywoodized. The movie is essentially one great, big, long, stream-of-conscious conversation between two characters who have a shared tendency towards overanalyzing everything. There is no complicated back story, there are no plot twists, there is no major emotional revelation. There's just talk, lots and lots and lots of talk. All of which could be boring, if Hawke and Delpy didn't have such excellent chemistry, and director Linklater weren't so adept at filming them. As it is, there's something incredibly intimate about the way we, the audience, are allowed to listen in on the talk, eavesdropping as the two characters get to know each other. It just feels so deliciously private, all the more so because we're witness to every pause in the conversation and sidelong glance, each anticipatory breath and missed opportunity for a kiss -- all those quiet, slow, in-between moments that most movies cut in order to skip to the action, but that really make you feel the delicious, awkward, what's-going-on-here wonderment of falling in love. So yeah, Before Sunrise is rather slow and very talky, and there's no real plot to speak of; the characters are occasionally awkward and frequently rambly, they're attractive, but in a scruffy, low-key, completely ordinary sort of way. It's a romance that's life-size rather than grand. In short, it's the sort of movie I love best, because it feels so much like real life. —reviewed by Yee-Fan Sun


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