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Before Sunrise

Director: Richard Linklater

The story could not be more simplistic. An American Male meets a French Female on a train and asks her to spend the evening with him in Vienna. What is not simplistic is the wonderful characters, and exceptional dialogue in Linklater's film. It is obvious that Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy) have a connection after their first conversation. As their day progresses their connection to each other deepens as does our connection with them. Before Sunrise is so special because we are not manipulated into connecting with them through tragedy, or violence, or sex. We connect with them as we do with people in everyday life, through the life experiences they share with us little by little as our relationship grows. This is true intimacy and is beautifully achieved here.

The intimate, personal moments that Jesse and Celine share throughout the film are sprinkled amidst a plethora of other conversations during their night together. They discuss everything from palm reading to dancing, the conversation is never boring and never unnecessary. They don't agree on everything and through that disagreement we we are invited further into their personalities as their connection grows. Jesse and Celine do interact with other characters in the course of the film. Linklater perfectly blends these interactions as well. The supporting characters add to the film without over powering the main characters. These characters are also just odd enough to further strengthen Jesse and Celine's connection as kindred spirits, without ever becoming caricatures.

Before Sunrise is a beautiful film. It made me want to rush off to Europe and spend aimless evenings wandering around foreign cities looking for romance. I suppose I will have to settle for revisiting this film and these characters in the future.