I can’t imagine having to wait nine years for Before Sunset to come around. Released nearly a decade after Before Sunrise, a film with a remarkable and original will they/won’t they conclusion, the film picks up the lives of Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy) after their one night romance in Vienna in 1995. It should be noted before I go on that this review may well contain spoilers for Before Sunrise so if you haven’t seen that movie yet, beware. I saw Before Sunrise earlier today and the hour long wait between films felt like a lifetime to me, so engrossed in the character’s stories was I. I can’t believe that there are people who had to endure nine years of not knowing what happened after Céline and Jesse went their separate ways.
The film opens in a Parisian book shop where Jesse, now an author is answering questions about his latest book. Towards the end of the interview he notices Céline standing in the corner and instantly loses his train of thought. He manages to sneak away for a coffee with his former fling before a 7:30 pm deadline to catch a flight. It’s on the way to the café that we the audience have our hearts broken. The pair didn’t meet in Vienna six months after the end of the first film. They in fact haven’t seen each other since that magical night nine years ago.