Friday, March 31 - Thursday, April 20, 2023
“It looks like a walk in the park – and a coffee stop, and a float down the Seine – but Linklater’s magic-hour impromptu lights up passions and possibilities most films don’t dream of. A more seasoned follow-up to ‘Before Sunrise’, in which Ethan Hawke’s rambling young American and Julie Delpy’s French student waxed romantic over one charmed night in Vienna, it’s some companion piece: a modest resumption of a love story whose pristine naturalism is never breached by its concurrent self-reflexiveness as a fiction and sequel. The couple themselves remain as self-conscious as they are direct, aware that this reunion is both a reprise and a new chapter, a turn full-circle and another waypoint down the line; they speculate on dreams, make-believe, and the idea of being characters in someone’s else’s scheme – suggesting fiction as a metaphor for fate.
“Chinese boxes-style, they’ve even translated their memories of Vienna into their own art: he a book, she a song… It’s at his final reading in Paris that they meet again (did he ever meet the girl again, one of his audience asks? The answer depends on whether you’re a romantic or a cynic, he tells her), and they step out for a coffee in his window before he catches a flight home. ‘I think I might have written that entire book just to find you again,’ he tells her, as their preliminaries give way to heartier expressions of remorse and frustration: the cynic in Linklater (and Hawke and Delpy, who co-wrote) has been at work in the intervening years, buffeting their idealism and queering the reality of that night of lost magic. The film picks up momentum with them – Linklater still does the connections and evasions of dialogue like no one but Rohmer – before delightfully slipping a gear for a sublimely wound-down ending. At the risk of overhyping 80 minutes of intimate real-time, this is the soul of generosity, a beautifully vibrant and big-spirited film.” – Time Out (London)
Part of our Weekend Classics series Richard Linklater’s ‘Before’ Trilogy
Previously screened in the 2014 series Time Regained: Cinema’s Present Perfect
- Country USA
- Year 2004
- Running Time 80 minutes
- Distributor Warner Brothers
- Director Richard Linklater
- Cast Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy
- Accessibility Assistive Listening, T-Coil
IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and DoesTheDogDie.com as well as through general internet searches.