87. Before Sunset (1994) – Richard Linklater

“It’s nine years after Jesse and Celine first met; now, they encounter one another on the French leg of Jesse’s book tour”.

Before Sunset is a rare treat in cinematic history. Not only is it rare for a sequel to take place 9 years after the original but it’s even rarer for a sequel to actually supass the quality of it’s original. Before Sunset accomplishes this and is one of the most watchable movies on this top 100 list.

The movie again follows Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy), who are older people now than they were in Before Sunrise. They are more knowledgeable about life and love, and at times more desperate than the people they use to be. They walk around Paris (which has never looked more stunning) and again talk to each other with a connection (albiet more reserved than Before Sunrise) but with the nagging question in the back of their minds…..

Did the other turn up in Venice all those years ago?

Before Sunset is shot as if it were in real time, with one big long take following Jesse and Celine walking round the various sites of Paris. It’s highly ambitious and works brilliantly as you soon forget you are watching a film and are totally drawn into the conversation. You are there right with them as they take their boat trip or as Celine plays her guitar in her home.

The climax of the movie is so fantastic, the entering of Celine’s home gives you the feeling of walking into the bedroom of someone you have lusted over for so long. You’ve thought about what place Celine would live in, and when you get to see it makes you feel warm inside. The last couple of lines in the movie are some of the best written dialogue in any film. I had a smile on my face for quite some time when this movie finished.

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This article was first posted on October 6, 2006