Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5
USA/Austria/Switzerland, 1995. Castle Rock Entertainment, Detour Filmproduction, Filmhaus Wien Universa Filmproduktions, Sunrise Production, Columbia Pictures Corporation. Screenplay by Richard Linklater, Kim Krizan. Cinematography by Lee Daniel. Produced by Anne Walker-McBay. Music by Fred Frith. Production Design by Florian Reichmann. Costume Design by Florentina Walley. Film Editing by Sandra Adair.
Meeting by chance on the Eurail from Prague to Paris and acting on an immediate spark between them, they disembark together in Vienna after Hawke convinces Delpy to delay her return home and spend a single, isolated day with him. They encounter the locals, visit a bar, hang out in the park and ride the ferris wheel, all the while falling deeply in love but deciding they’re too modern and cynical to just indulge in the overwhelming rush of emotion they feel.
Richard Linklater has a solid feel for realistic dialogue, tempered by a sweet emotional melancholy and spot-on performances by his two leads. The entire group would reunite for the even better sequel, Before Sunset, nine years later.
The Criterion Collection: #857
Berlin Film Festival Award: Best Director (Richard Linklater)