Preview by: Jack Foley
BEFORE Sunset, the eagerly anticipated sequel to Before Sunrise,
opened in America on July 2, to almost rapturous acclaim.
Richard Linklater has long been the indie darling of the American
critics, and his latest piece of work seems no exception. Fans
of the original will be delighted.
Reelviews leads the accolades, writing: "Forget Spider-Man's
tussle with Doc Ock. Forget Shrek's
trek to Far Far Away. And forget Harry
Potter's latest attempt to endure the snipes of Snape. For
me, the sequel to see during the summer of 2004 is Richard Linklater's
While Entertainment Weekly enthused that it
is ‘a deeper, darker, altogether more memorable experience.
It doesn't extend the characters so much as fulfil them’.
Village Voice believed that it provides ‘all
one could wish for in a sequel - it enriches, glosses, and completes
And the Hollywood Reporter found that it is
‘a hugely successful experiment to see if a movie can captivate
an audience with a conversation between two people in real time’.
LA Weekly opined that ‘what ultimately
makes Before Sunset so special (and maybe the most resonant, least
self-conscious 'great movie romance' of its era) is its deep-rooted
honesty - the way it takes the bitter with the sweet and somehow
leaves us feeling elated’.
While Rolling Stone
declared that ‘there is something uniquely unforgettable
in the way Linklater, Hawke and Delpy (equal collaborators on
the script) find nuance, art and eroticism in words, spoken and
And the Chicago Tribune referred to it, simply,
as ‘a film of luminous delights’.
Slant Magazine noted that ‘the beauty
and grace of Before Sunset is its unparalleled ability to capture
the idiosyncratic rhythm and cadence of everyday dialogue’.
And the New York Times felt that 'though it
is sometimes maddening, the movie's prodigious verbiage is also
enthralling, precisely because of its casual disregard for the
usual imperatives of screenwriting'.
USA Today even went so far as to say that 'it
eats at you, just like renewed love'.
While the Los Angeles Times declared that film
that 'in its joy, optimism and aesthetic achievement, keeps faith
with American cinema at its finest'.
The Boston Globe, meanwhile, stated that 'it's
a movie to cheer lovers and movie lovers alike - an enchanting
midsummer cocktail for two, served at dusk on the banks of the
And the Washington Post wrote that 'Before Sunset
has an easy, unforced air about it, mostly because of what seems
to be a real rapport between the two lead actors'.
The final word, however, goes to the San Francisco Chronicle,
which echoes IndieLondon's view (and yes, we've already seen it
and been seduced), by noting: "It has earthy (and therefore
sexy) urban locations, a splendid originality of voice, a loose
and distinctive visual style, and it sends audiences out humming
with the realness and beauty of it all. ... But it should have
been twice as long."