Before Sunset

Directed by Richard Linklater

Most sequels are hack-fests, hurriedly cobbled together to cash in on mega-success blockbusters. Think again. Following the whopping $1.5 million box office of his 1995 indie romance BEFORE SUNRISE, Linklater returns with the equally romantic follow-up. When last we saw lovers Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy), they were parting, promising to meet in six months’ time. Nine years later, Jesse is giving a reading in a Paris bookstore when he spies Celine. He has to catch a plane back to the States in 90 minutes, and so they wander off for that brief time, talking about their lives, their dreams, and their relationship. Like the original, the film is driven by thoughtful, believable dialogue. Unrolling in real time, SUNSET reveals the daytime cityscape of Paris, with the couple captured in elegant long-take Steadicam shots, set to an evocative soundtrack (to which Delpy contributed). This sequel equals and perhaps even surpasses the original, maturing with its characters like a fine French wine.

80 minutes

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