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Before Sunset: Film Review
Written by: STEPHEN SIMON - The Movie Mystic - Rated 4.67 out of 5, 3 people have rated it.


 

 

I strongly--STRONGLY!- recommend that you run, not walk, to see BEFORE SUNSET which is my co-favorite film of the year so far (along with ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF A SPOTLESS MIND). If it's not still in theaters when you read this, you will then have a treat waiting for you at your local video store when it is released on home video.

 

Directed by the brilliant Richard Linklater (WAKING LIFE), BEFORE SUNSET is a sequel to BEFORE SUNRISE, shot 9 years earlier with the same director and two-actor cast. SUNRISE was about two young people who met for one night in Paris, fell in love, made love, and promised to meet again. SUNSET picks up many years later when one of the pair (Ethan Hawke) has written a book and is back in Paris where his lost love (Julie Delpy) comes to his book signing and they reunite to reminisce and explore what happened. You also need not worry if you haven't seen BEFORE SUNRISE---you learn all you need to know very quickly.

That's not giving away the plot because the setup all happens in the first 5 minutes. After that, the film is a tour-de-force plunge into love, vulnerability, lost innocence, and longing.

Never have I seen two actors so completely inhabit their characters any more than Hawke and Delpy. They both give bravura, wrenching, witty, and devastatingly honest Academy Award-caliber performances. In the Academy process, each branch nominates its own members; that is, actors nominate actors, directors nominate directors, etc. Every branch has a vote in the nomination of Best Picture (I'm in the producer's branch). When the nominations are announced, the entire Academy membership (about 6,000 people) votes for each category. The actor's branch is known to be the most thorough and fair in it's screening and nominating procedure. Actors truly recognize the quality in each other's work and that's why there are usually some surprises each year in the acting categories. If there's a great performance in a little-known movie, the actor's branch just might recognize it anyway. If Academy voters actually watch this film when it is sent out by it's distributor to all Academy voters, it will be shocking if Julie Delpy is not nominated for an Academy Award.

BEFORE SUNSET explores moments of grace in our lives in which we encounter others who inspire, empower, and stimulate us to plumb the bottomless depth of our souls. The film is a bracing mixture of comedy, pathos, drama, and brilliantly insightful dialogue that combine to create one of those rare moments in film which will last forever in the hearts and minds of those who are open to the resonance of its revelations about the human condition.

See it with an open heart and I believe that you will be as enthralled and enchanted as I was.

(Stephen Simon has produced such films as Somewhere in Time and What Dreams May Come, has just produced and directed INDIGO, and wrote The Force is With You: Mystical Movie Messages That Inspire Our Lives, published by Walsch Books/Hampton Roads. He also co-founded The Spiritual Cinema Circle http://www.spiritualcinemacircle.com/ .Stephen welcomes your comments by
email: Stephen @Movingmessagesmedia.com)



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