Before Sunset

Image from Amazon
Before Sunset (buy from Amazon)
Type: Romantic, USA 2004

Director: Richard Linklater

My rating: 5
Key actors/actresses:
Ethan Hawke - Jesse
Julie Delpy - Celine

Posted by Doris Wong
In 1995's Before Sunrise, American student Jesse met the French beauty Celine on an europe train. The 14 hours spent together in Vienna has connected two young hearts.
Before Sunsets picks up 9 years after they separated in the train platform & swore they would meet again at there after six months.
Jesse, now a best selling author living in new york with his wife & son, is giving a reading to the journalists in Shakespeare Book shop in Paris, the last stop of this book tour.
Celine, now a Green Cross environmental activist living in Paris, walks in the book shop staring at him.
In several hours before Jesse has to fly back to US, they walk in Paris & keep talking as they did in Vienna nine years ago.
What is his book about?
Who did not go back to Vienna as promised?
Was the girl Celine whom Jesse saw in NY?
What happened to them after separated?
What are their problems now?
In real time, they share their mind and regain the power of love before sunset.
This time, it's more difficult than ever to say goodbye...

My review:
The reunion of Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy is amazing!
I was so excited when I heard about this film in news of Cannes Film Festival. I had great expectation & looked forward to watching this film as soonest as possible.
I did & found it with no disappointment but just surprise!
The chemistry between Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy is still there.
After nine years of living experience, Ethan Hawke's acting is more mature & Julie Delpy is still a french angel.
You may say this film is their baby as they really took part in writing the screenplay, beside with the director Richard Linklater (also the director of "School of Rock", really unexpected!). Even Julie Delpy's parents played the roles of man & woman whom Celine spoke with in her courtyard.
This time, they talk more in depth about love, marriage, religion, life, hope and dream, in their ideal eyes against the real world. As they're growing older and having their own companion, the way they expressed their love to each other is more subtle than they were in Vienna.
What touched my heart is that their youthful hearts & passion of love were back after the long long talk. While watching this, I could feel the same although I have different living experience to reach my age now that is same as theirs.
I especially like the ending. It just ends unexpectedly with Celine in her apartment recreats Nina Simone's dancing and Jesse sitting in her sofa, in fact almost lying, watching her to say this "Baby, you're gonna miss your flight." & Jesse just smiles "I know." Then if fades.
It gives the audience much imagination whether Jesse & Celine will never separate again, just like people wonder whether they will meet again six months later in the ending of "Before Sunrise".
In reality, it's difficult for Jesse to leave his wife & son especially and them move to Paris, thus I think this ending is just perfect to avoid seeing the lovers separate again.
I had watched this film three times. Each time after the ending, it leaves me a sweet & warm feeling for a while. Besides, Julie Delpy's song simultaneously comes into my head.
I love this movie and I love this feeling.
I recall the last film that brings me same feeling maybe "Amelie" in 2001!!

Before Sunrise

Image from Amazon
Before Sunrise (buy from Amazon)

Type: Romantic, USA 1995

Director: Richard Linklater

My rating: 5
Key actors/actresses:
Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

Posted by Doris
A night before sunrise was the unforgettable memories lingered in two young hearts....
A french student Celine met an american boy Jesse on the train headed to Vienna and her way home. Starting with a conversation, both had sensed the connection in between them. When almost time to get off the train, Jesse spoke out with an awful idea. Without enough time to think about it, Celine accepted Jesse's suggestion to get off at Vienna & spend the time with him until he would fly back to US in the next morning.
The funny people they met on the streets & the places they wander in this beautiful city brought them unlimited topics.
In this soul journey, they shared jokes and thoughts of parenthood, religion, death, worry, love, men (mars) & women (venus).....
Love came silently in the night, but both were not brave enough to be the first one asking to meet again.
As time went by, it became harder to say goodbye.....

My review:
I love this beautiful & romantic story.
The first time I watched this movie at my twentysomething, I found it very touching.
The second time I watched it now at my early thirty, I still feel the same.
I like the description on the DVD "Yesterday they were stranger, today inseparable soulmates."
Could this happen in reality? I hope it would have happened on me, but who knows the handsome guy would not turn out to be a psycho!?
Some movies described how love happened between two too quickly & seems to have skipped many scenes, but this movie is not. Love just came naturely from they met, sensed connection & finally didn't want to separate. I'm sure I would also fall in love with Jesse if I were Celine.
As there's limit of time to stay together, every moment become more precious & romantic than ever. I started to think if they're not separated at the end (unlike those hollywood movie ending), maybe after several years they'll still separate however with hate.
Not sure whether they will meet each others again, so they show as real as they are except no one admit they really want to meet again. It's so real for the tempting questions & pretending when they're not sure how the other think, 'don't you think we should meet again?" " no, i don't think so. how do you think?" "... no. no...." "ok..." I think it's familiar to many of you too.
This movie is also a moving picture of "Mars & Venus" series. I do agree with those different opinion of opposite sex in the script.
I put 5 for rating & my review on "Before Sunset" will come soon!

Old Leglessbird Movie guide

You can find the old leglessbird movie guide here.

My Sassy Girl

Type: Comedy Romantic, South Korea 2001

Director: Jae-young Kwak

My rating: 5
Key actors/actresses:
Tae-hyun Cha .... Kyun-woo
Ji-hyun Jun .... The Girl

Kyun-woo is an ordinary 25 year-old boy whose parents think he is no good and in fact a bit dumb. One evening, he meets a pretty girl who is extremely drunk, he saves her from falling off the platform of a train station. The girl calls him "darling" before passing out on the train. Subsequently, he is mistaken as the boyfriend of this mysterious girl and is being lectured by others that he must take care of her. Not knowing where she lives, he must spend the night with her. The girl is by now so drunk that she is not able to take care of herself. He takes her to a cheap hotel for the evening. One thing leads to another and Kyun-woo ends up in the police station for seemingly very questionable behaviour. After a series of mishaps, Kyun-woo really becomes the boyfriend of this sassy, bossy girl. Is this the beginning of his nightmare or is this the true love that he has been waiting for? Who is this bossy girl?

My review:
My sassy girl is a wonderful movie, it is funny, comical, romantic and touching. Excellent choice of main actor and actress. Ji-hyun Jun is the type of girl that young men dream about, the girl-next-door style, long hair, tall and with a nice figure and a pretty face. But the director has given this dream girl a nightmare type of personality, it's this love and hate situation that is torturing Kyun-woo. He is the submissive type and he has been giving in to the girl's demand: swapping shoes, beaten up constantly, and ending up in jail a few times. However, if you watch more carefully, the girl actually has a very nice personality, she is straight forward and is never afraid to speak out whenever she thinks someone has done something so terribly wrong. She fantasies a lot about romantic relationship. On the other hand, Kyun-woo seems dumb but he is the most loving and caring type of boyfriend that any girl can ask for. His unreserved care and determination to heal the heart broken girl has truly touched the girl's heart. The film is never short of funny moments, the clever thing is these funny plots are situational, not just in the script. Highly recommended, you will have a great time watching it. Ji-hyun Jun also appears in Il Mare, another highly recommended movie.

Advance review of the movie:
If you have not watched the movie yet, do not read beyond here. Come back when you have seen the movie.

Many people have missed a lot of the subtle details of the movie. Most people have the feeling that the old man who sat under the tree was Kyun-woo. In fact he is indeed Kyun-woo from the future. He is the person that the girl was referring to at the end of the movie when she said "I have met someone from the future". How do we know this, well, there are quite a few evidence, firstly, this old man was actually present inside the train at the very beginning of the movie when the young Kyun-woo first met the girl. The old man stared in a very concerned manner at his younger self during that train ride. The old man talked about how he knew about the story of the tree and how he had read both letters and he put that toad in the time capsule to scare his younger counter-part. He also talked about how fate will build a bridge for the lovers, the young Kyun-woo said the same thing at the end of the movie. When the girl was reading the letter under the tree, there was actually a UFO flying across.

Other subtle things include, the five identical brothers in the movie, they are the owner of the hostel where Kyun-woo took the girl to on their first encounter, the person at the reception of the hostel, the leader of the gang at the detention centre, the pick-pocket at Lunchi station and the station manager in the control room of the underground. Actually, you should have already seen the picture at that hostel showing these 5 brothers.

Never mind if you missed the above? It is still a very enjoyable movie without knowing the above facts. Watch it again, perhaps! :-)

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