Our top 5 love story films: 4 - Before Sunrise

Before Sunrise, 1995.

Richard Linklater's quiet 1995 love story follows a night in the lives of an American traveler (Ethan Hawke) and a French woman (Julie Delpy) who meet on a European train. He convinces her to get off the train with him in Vienna and spend the night walking around town together. In the space of that time we watch as they go from complete strangers to falling in love. There's no plot beyond the two of them exploring the city, sharing their views on life, love and identity, and indulging in small moments together, knowing that once the night is over they'll probably never see each other again.  Unrealistic, perhaps, but we've all had those times where we've been sure this is it, within the first few hours of meeting someone.  And if you've seen the following two films in the series,  you know that reality does set in eventually.

The pace, the dialogue, the characters' relationship; everything in this film just feels so perfectly natural, like you're watching it happen to someone you know. Like it's happening to you. I love the that Delpy's hair is never quite in place, and her dress strap keeps falling off her shoulder.  I love the way Hawke looks at her when she's not looking, and awkwardly attempts to touch her. There's a rawness to it that doesn't feel staged, scripted or acted, and as they fall in love you fall right there with them. For the second two films, Hawke and Delpy joined in the writing process, a testiment to how much these characters mean to them. And unless you are completely without a SOUL, you will bawl your eyes out at the end.

Every time I watch this film I'm overcome by the beauty of it. It inspired me to move to Europe the first time around. It inspired me to go to Vienna, which turned out to be even more stunning in person. And it inspires me to indulge my cheesy, romantic dreamer side once in a while.  An all time favourite.

Notable lines:
Celine: Isn't everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?
Celine: I like to feel his eyes on me when I look away.

Easily one of the sweetest scenes ever on film:

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