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Before Sunrise (1995)

aka Before Sunrise

"Can the greatest moment of your life last only one night?"

Directed By: 
Details: 105 mins · English, French, German · R (USA)


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From Everybody:

It feels almost wrong to only give this 4 stars, because I actually think it's something of a masterpiece. A full movie with hardly any plot and just a lot of talking that doesn't get boring! Well, didn't get boring to me anyway. Loved how relate-able it was - how most people will have experienced that night of talking and connection, even if perhaps under different circumstances. I was glad I knew that there was a sequel though, or I wouldn't have liked the ending at all. But so much emotion! My heart broke for Jesse as you saw his face crack as he got on the bus.

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Not much happens in this movie - basically it's just Ethan Hawke and Julie Deply talking, but still the dialog and the basic mood of this movie makes it great.

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Small Jesse
Small Céline
No_movie_poster Wife on Train
No_movie_poster Husband on Train
No_movie_poster Guy on Bridge
No_movie_poster Guy on Bridge
No_movie_poster Palm Reader
No_movie_poster Cafe Patron
No_movie_poster Street Poet
No_movie_poster Belly Dancer
No_movie_poster Guitar Player in Club
No_movie_poster Bartender
No_movie_poster Percussionist
Small Man Sleeping on Train


Small Richard Linklater Director
No_movie_poster Anne Walker-McBay Producer
No_movie_poster Kim Krizan Screenplay
No_movie_poster Lee Daniel Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Fred Frith Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Sandra Adair Editor
No_movie_poster Sheri Galloway Editor
No_movie_poster Alycia Aumuller Casting
No_movie_poster Judy Henderson Casting
No_movie_poster Florian Reichmann Production Design
No_movie_poster Florentina Welley Costume Design
Small Richard Linklater Writer
No_movie_poster Sandra Adair Editing


"Can the greatest moment of your life last only one night?"

"Can the greatest romance of your life last only one night?"

"... When love can come as a complete surprise."


The film starts in the summer of 1994 with Jesse meeting Céline on a train from Budapest and striking up a conversation with her. Jesse is going to Vienna to catch a flight back to the United States, whereas Céline is returning to university in Paris after visiting her grandmother. When they reach Vienna, Jesse convinces Céline to disembark with him, saying that 10 or 20 years down the road, she might not be happy with her marriage and might wonder how her life would have been different if she had picked another guy, and this is a chance to realize that he himself is not that different from the rest; in his words, he is "the same boring, unmotivated guy." Jesse has to catch a flight early in the morning and does not have enough money to rent a room for the night, so they decide to roam around in Vienna.

After visiting a few landmarks in Vienna, they share a kiss at the top of the Wiener Riesenrad at sunset and start to feel a romantic connection. As they continue to roam around the city, they begin to talk more openly with each other, with conversations ranging from topics about love, life, religion, and their observations of the city. Céline tells Jesse that her last boyfriend broke up with her six months ago, claiming that she "loved him too much". When questioned, Jesse reveals he had initially come to Europe to spend time with his girlfriend who was studying in Madrid, but they had broken up when she was avoiding him while he was there. He decided to take a cheap flight home, via Vienna, but it did not leave for two weeks so he bought a Eurail pass and traveled around Europe.

When they are walking alongside the Donaukanal (Danube canal) they are approached by a man who, instead of begging, offers to write them a poem with a word of their choice in it. Jesse and Céline decide on the word "milkshake", and are soon presented with the poem Delusion Angel (written for the film by the poet David Jewell). In a traditional Viennese café, Jesse and Céline stage fake phone conversations with each other, playing each other's friends they pretend to call. Céline reveals that she was ready to get off the train with Jesse before he convinced her. Jesse reveals that after he broke up with his girlfriend, he bought a flight that really was not much cheaper, and all he really wanted was an escape from his life.

They admit their attraction to each other and how the night has made them feel, though they understand that they probably will not see each other again when they leave. They simply decide to make the best of what time they have left, ending the night with the implication of a sexual encounter between them. At that point, Jesse explains that if given the choice, he would marry her instead of never seeing her again. The film ends the next day at the train station, where the two hastily agree to meet together at the same place in six months as the train is about to leave.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1995-01-27 : United States of America

DVD : 1999-11-30