Before Sunrise
1995
This intoxicating film from director Richard Linklater stars Ethan Hawke as an American backpacker who strikes up a conversation with a lovely fellow traveler (Julie Delpy) on the train to Vienna and persuades her to spend his last day in Europe with him. Wandering the picturesque streets of the Austrian capital, the two share stories of their pasts and their dreams for the future, ultimately forging a bond that leads to love.

Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”

Odd, that I have little to say about a film that consists entirely of conversation. This is considered by some to be the apex of Richard Linklater's work and I won't argue; certainly he uses his talent for dialogue to maximum effect. It's riveting: You're grabbed within the first scene and you don't even realize the time passing, eavesdropping on this extended first date as the camera simply follows the actors and lets them talk like intelligent normal people. I doubt the availability of such middle-of-the-night entertainments in a city like Vienna, but suspension of disbelief is not something this film requires in spades. It is true to its reputation as one of the most romantic films of modern times and well worth a rental for any couple. What is it about this loquacious film that leaves me unable to find words to describe it? See it and be left speechless for yourself.

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