Before Sunset

Release Date: July 2, 2004
Limited release

Movie of the Day for Friday, May 21, 2004
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Now *this* is a Eurotrip.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
2/92 David Mumpower An intellectual orgasm.
5/133 Dan Krovich The romance is still there
8/126 Kim Hollis Wistful, talky and real. All the hallmarks of a fantastic Linklater creation.

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If you're Richard Linklater, director of traditionally quirky and out-of-the-mainstream little films, how do you follow up your biggest hit to date?

After devoting years to indie flicks such as Slacker, Dazed and Confused, Waking Life and Tape, the talented writer/director broke out into the mainstream with the charming family film School of Rock. That film made in excess of $80 million, making it by far the most financially successful film of Linklater's career.

In a return to his singular roots, his next effort will be a sequel to one of his earlier films, Before Sunrise. A charming film that featured literate characters in an unconventional love story, the 1995 romance was championed at the time by Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert and came in at number 42 on BOP's list of top 50 recent underappreciated movies.

Considering that first film made $5.4 million in total box office, it probably doesn't seem the likeliest of candidates for a sequel. When you're Richard Linklater, though, convention is the least of your considerations. Before Sunset premiered in February 2004 at the Berlin International Film Festival and is set for North American release in the Summer of 2004.

The premise is simple. Nine years ago, an young American named Jesse met a French graduate student named Celine on a train. He suggests that she postpone her return to France so that they can set off on an expedition to Vienna. Over the next 14 hours, they appreciate the romance of spontaneity as they experience a powerful connection of both heart and mind.

Fast forward to today, and Jesse is now an author. He journeys to Paris for a book tour and once again enjoys a fleeting encounter with the woman who captured his fancy all those years ago. Both leads are back, with the maritally troubled Ethan Hawke reprising his role as Jesse and French indy actress Julie Delpy returning as Celine. Both actors "appeared" as these same characters in Linklater's quirky, animated film "Waking Life", while Hawke and his former wife Uma also appeared in the largely unseen character study "Tape."

Filmed on a sparse $5-10 million budget, Before Sunset enjoys a fair opportunity to expand on the groundswell of goodwill the first film has earned in the years since its release. It will see limited release from the indie arm of Warner Bros. distribution, and will probably make its way around the festival circuit as well. It's bound to be a treat for both Linklater fans and people who loved the first film. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Before Sunset
Main Cast Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy
Director Richard Linklater
Screenwriter Richard Linklater
Distributor Warner Independent Pictures
Rating R
Running Time 80 minutes
Screen Count 20
Awards Awards page for Before Sunset
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Before Sunset
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
School of Rock, The 10/3/0319.62 19.62 2614 7507.00 7507.0 81.26 81.26 0.00
Waking Life 11/9/010.27 0.28 66 4029.00 4136.0 2.89 3.08 7.52



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