Before Sunrise (1995)

before sunrise poster 1995 ethan hawke julie delpy
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great location, some good dialogue

Not a fan of Ethan Hawke, some conversations don't hold you

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Before Sunrise

Studio:  Castle Rock Entertainment

Genre(s):  Romance

Release Date(s):  January 27, 1995

MPAA Rating:  R


I’ve got a plan and it’s totally not about sleeping with you

A chance meeting on a train between American Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and French Céline (Julie Delpy) between Budapest and Vienna leads to a night they will not forget.  Deciding to spend the evening together walking around the city and talking, Jesse and Céline find a connection that they cannot explain.  The night moves on, and Jesse and Céline wonder if they’ll be able to say goodbye when morning comes.

Directed by Richard Linklater, Before Sunrise premiered at Sundance Film Festival and was hailed by critics.  Since its release, Before Sunrise has gained a cult following and is often listed as one of generational romance stories of its time.  The Criterion Collection released a remastered version of the trilogy as The Before Trilogy (Criterion #856) with Before Sunrise individually numbered as Criterion #857.


I predict that this guy wants in your pants

I didn’t see Before Sunrise when it was released.  I am not an Ethan Hawke fan and I am so-so on Julie Delphy which I have seen in a couple things.  The movie seemed like a mouthpiece for the writer to just talk about things that interest them…the movie however was rather interesting.

The movie honestly got me at the beginning simply because I had the same experience first relayed by Hawke’s character.  In Paris, I rehearsed my French but when it came time to use it, I failed miserably.  It was a few honest moments like this which made the film work.  Some of the speeches are pretty pompous, but some of them really work.


Ever see The Accused?

The movie doesn’t follow the path of a typical romance, but in its own way is more romantic than the “real” romance movies.  The characters try to just “like each other”, but find something deeper without trying…but Hawke’s character seems to undermine this.

Hawke plays his character a bit too leering.  The movie is supposed to be a story of deeper love, but Hawke looks like he wants to get her from the beginning.  Delpy’s character is a bit more likeable and genuine.  The format of the movie leads to almost Odyssey style appearances of other characters like the actors (Karl Bruckschwaiger and Tex Rubinowitz), the poet (Dominik Castell), and the palm reader (Erni Mangold)…I do like most of the “guest” actors who do liven up and break-up some of the Hawke-Delpy portions.


Just meet here in six months…I’m sure this will work!

The movie does make great use of Vienna.  It is one of those films that makes you want to go to the location…I honestly hadn’t thought much about Vienna, but after this film, it also makes me kind of want to go there.  The movie really doesn’t explore the best parts of the city and still manages to be a bit of love story to it as well.

Before Sunrise is worth checking out and the fact that the story does continue years after this film.  Linklater, Delpy, and Hawke have made this movie almost a character study of how people change throughout their lives.  Stop by for the first leg of the journey and check out Before Sunrise.  The characters next appeared in a small sequence of the animated dream movie Waking Life in 2001 and then returned in Before Sunset in 2004.

Related Links:

Waking Life (2001)

Before Sunset (2004)

Before Midnight (2013)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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