Before Sunset

Before Sunset ★★★★★

i feel like a teabag STEEPED in romance i could just weep

I WILL NOT write a nice articulate review about this. i will RAMBLE about this. SORRY

i love that this 9-years-later sequel was actually made 9 years later; there is nothing put-on about the way their chemistry picks up JUST where it left off. it’s so real and so meaningful. the way they reunite after so long, with just a gentle but excited hello—it defies expectations, and it’s truer to life… it’s nothing like those hollywood-style, gasping-their-name-in-disbelief-then-running-into-an embrace reunions. and their first five minutes or so are uncertain, a bit awkward, just like you’d expect when trying to get back in the groove with someone you haven’t seen in years (and also just like their first five minutes off the train). just one little example of the kinds of lived-in moments that make this movie (series) feel true to life, unscripted, fantastic. and it’s so wonderful then to watch them slide back into their old rhythm, become honest with each other again, become their full selves in front of one another again, with some aspects changed and new, but like jesse argues to celine, still with the same essential character underneath it all

oh LOVE… there is nothing like that feeling of being with that person where it feels like conversation might never stop, where the things they say always have a way of drawing another memory or anecdote out of you, and everything they say is so captivating, and to be with one other is just so comfortable. THIS is what they have. and it is a rare thing to have

like nine years prior, jesse is just never ready to leave celine, and in this movie you watch him prolong their time as much as he can, fighting off reality, fighting to create a space for the two of them to just be present, because you can just see that there is no place he’d rather be than right there, with her

even though they both get equal time to talk (i think) and neither one is more of a main character than the other, i honestly feel like the movies make us fall in love with celine as much as jesse does. her fluttery laugh, her smartness and sensitivity, her sharp wit, passion for her beliefs and certainty of her opinions, the way she moves—and she’s always been this way, as we’ve seen, but has become even more sure of herself with time. and jesse is older and more sure of himself than he was at 23, too, but he’s still in awe of her, still moved by her, and we are too. or it’s just me. lol

i loved the emotional, vulnerable, honest confessions from both of them that they never got over it, between the joking and sharing of lighthearted stories… the way they start out both withholding just how much they’ve been thinking of the other throughout the years, but slowly let their guards down and let the things they really want to say come out. and they don’t even get bogged down by it, they eventually return to their regular volley, like it was nothing, but now they know even more about each other on a deeper level, and they just fold it into the rest. and that’s how you know they’re meant to be by one another’s side in life, in WHATEVER capacity. in this ending, he doesn’t leave, and her reminders he will miss his plane aren’t sincerely urgent; cynics and romantics alike are left with a great deal more hope for them than the last time
something about her performance of her waltz (which i delighted in recognizing, i’d totally stumbled across “waltz for a night” on spotify years ago!) and the way he watched and smiled and nearly cried reminded me of the final scenes of portrait of a lady on fire—you know, the painting with the page 28, the song, the way someone demonstrates (through their art no less) that they remember, they remember it all … i just about shed a tear

though it’s also true that jesse does that quite literally through his novel, and i love that celine has a very mixed response to it,  to literally being a character in someone else’s narrative; she uses the word “disturbing,” contending with seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes, accepting their perception of you and of the events you took part in. to acknowledge remembering it all through a short statement, or through a song, or through a piece of art, it’s much different than bringing it back to the other person in a long-form recollection of events (which can only ever be one-sided). i wish i could read his book so i could see how it differed from the before sunrise we watched, where their perspectives were pretty much equally centered

oh yeah and the nina simone playing out the end made me just melt and sigh

ok i love love and just human connection generally. i’ve GOT to finish this writing and get off this app right now before i embarrass myself further. i liked it

UGGHH just learned from a roger ebert review that ethan hawke and julie delpy wrote the screenplay together!!! based off all that dialogue and character groundwork laid by richard linklater and longtime collaborator kim krizan (who delivers my favorite monologue in waking life) from the first film. GOD, that just makes this all even better!!! linklater, you’re getting through those pearly gates

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