A/V Room









Before Sunset - US reaction

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 Before Sunset."

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 the original’.

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 unspoken’.

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 Seine'.

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."


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