Monday, June 17, 2013
by: Ryan Grudinski
With the recent release of "Before Midnight" I figured now is as good a time as any to get acclimated with these "Before" films that I've been meaning to see for years now. After watching the first installment, my first thought was "What the hell was I waiting for!?" Before Sunrise is a bona fide masterpiece. It's the love story that avoid nearly all of the Hollywood clichés to which so very many other romantic films fall prey. It's a simple story of two strangers who meet on a train, and decide to spend the night together in Vienna before one of them needs to leave. Their story is so fascinating and enthralling to watch. I found myself falling in love with these two people just as they were falling for one another. The film is beautifully shot with very many long takes of dialog (my weakness) delivered perfectly by its stars, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. The dialog is crisp, and refreshing, and not at all what you would expect from a typical romantic film or romantic comedy. These people seem real, their situation seems real, and almost everything that happens to them seems real. I believe Richard Linklater is a very underrated director. Sure he receives praise for Dazed and Confused (as he should) but he's not in the conversation 9 times out of 10 when great directors are brought up. I believe he should be. To go back to these characters, I just want to say that after this film was over, even though I was pressed for time, and did not have the 80 minutes it would have required to watch the second film, I couldn't help but popping it on and watching the first 15 minutes or so just to see what happens to these two on the next cinematic stage of their lives. I cannot recommend this film highly enough.
Acting: **** 1/2
Writing: **** 1/2
Technical: The long shots I mentioned before are a marvel to witness.
X-Factors: I found the entire overall experience of this film to be extremely rewarding.
Verdict: **** 1/2
Will This Movie end up in my collection? Yes.