The greatest love story ever told. A film by Richard Linklater starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy as young twentysomethings who meet on a train from Budapest and decide to get off in Vienna to spend the night wandering around the city together, talking. Simply some of the best dialogue ever written for the movies. They have philosphical, radical, everyday sort of conversations that scratch away that bit deeper than most of us manage. It's wonderfully romantic and ends with such simplicity: the places that they visited together are shown in the cold hard light of the following morning: empty, except for the filmic memories of them together, like a warm breeze blowing through autumn leaves.
Linklater followed this with the best sequel I have ever seen, Before Sunset, which changes the way you think about the first movie if you've seen them both before. (Yes, it's better even than The Godfather: Part II!) And yet the sequel stands by itself as well. Hawke and Delpy are so natural together. In Before Sunrise there's a scene with them listening to a record together in a soundproof booth, where, as one turns to look, the other one looks away, only to look back again. These characters live and breathe in your mind. Watching it for the third time today, I came to realize just how much it has shaped the way I see the world: not only love and relationships, but death and cynicism, adulthood, conversation, and rationalism versus optimism.
Nugget: well worth the hassle finding an Australian import on eBay; even though they're releasing both films together in a box set on 7 February 2005!