Film Review: Before Sunrise

Ever have that dream where you are travelling solo in a beautiful foreign country and you meet someone special? That dream comes true in 1995’s Before Sunrise when American Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and French Céline (Julie Delpy) meet on a train and spend the evening just hanging out. Oh to be young and looking for love.

While on board a train for Vienna, Jesse and Céline strike up a conversation, obviously smitten with each other at first sight. Not wanting the conversation to end, the two decide to spend the rest of the evening together before Jesse takes another train in order to then catch a plane back to the States. Together, they roam the streets of Vienna, deep in conversation, and flirting shamelessly.

There is little about Before Sunrise that is not romantic. Two beautiful young people meeting on a train in Austria and spending hours walking aimlessly around Vienna talking about anything and everything. Assuming that you are into that kind of thing, of course. Granted, there is a lack of reality in the story but it is so easy to get swept up. And, admittedly, the fact that there is little plot and it is a film that is over an hour and a half of essentially just conversation, will deter some. It can come off as pretentious. But Before Sunrise for the rest of us, it is easy to wish you were taking that trip across Europe.


In a previous life, Corinne ran a music website. After going strong for a decade, the site went on a hiatus. Consider her the antiTastemaker.