Before Sunset: Emilie De La Hosseraye
April 21, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

Before Sunset

Current Status
In Season
80 minutes
Limited Release Date
Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Vernon Dobtcheff, Rodolphe Pauly, Mariane Plasteig
Richard Linklater
Warner Independent Pictures
Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater
Romance, Drama
We gave it an A

”Before Sunrise,” Richard Linklater’s 1995 romance starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke as students who meet on a train to Vienna, grossed $5.4 million — not bad for an indie, but not the kind of box office tally that signals a follow-up. ”We’re the lowest-grossing film to ever spawn a sequel,” laughs the director. ”It was just something we all felt. These characters were alive in us.” Though the trio had considered a sequel, it wasn’t until the actors reunited on Linklater’s 2001 ”Waking Life” that plans got under way. ”We worked out a specific outline over several days,” Linklater continues. ”Then over the next year, we were e-mailing and faxing and meeting when we could.” The story picks up nine years later, with Jesse (Hawke), now a novelist, and Celine (Delpy), an environmentalist, meeting again in Paris. (The $3 million movie was shot on location in 15 days.)

So far, buzz has been positive: Audiences raved at March’s South by Southwest fest. ”I find it touching for people who have grown up with these characters to make a leap with them,” says Linklater. ”For the three of us, it represents a kind of life project.” Meaning the team hasn’t ruled out future Jesse and Celine stories. ”It would be interesting to follow [them] through many, many years,” says Delpy.

THE GOOD NEWS Linklater is on a career high following ”School of Rock.”

THE BAD NEWS Hawke is no Jack Black.

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