Linklater fans! Speculate about Before Sunset (Spoilers for Before Sunrise)!



I started off a huge Richard Linklater fan, then he started to make me doubt, then he came back strong, then he confused me. Slacker was brilliant, and Dazed and Confused and Before Sunrise were great. subUrbi@ wasn’t quite up to par (Linklater and Bogosian seemed an odd pairing to me) but put Parker Posey, Giovanni Ribisi, and Steve Zahn all in the same movie and I’ll watch it no matter what. Newton Boys was lame but after taking a few years off he came back releasing two movies within a month of each other- Tape, which was excellent and the brilliant Waking Life. School of Rock seemed like “work for hire” to me but it was well put together (did I say Linklater and Bogosian were an odd paring? How about Linklater and Jack Black!).

So now he’s giving us Before Sunset a sequel to Before Sunrise. I’m pretty interested in seeing how this works out. I’m not even sure that I want Linklater to tell me what happened to these characters- I loved that we were left to just wonder about it at the end of the first movie. So who wants to speculate with me? (Please, speculate only- if you have any definite info about the new film please keep it to yourself.)

So, it’s ten years later. Do you think the film is set ten years later? At the end of the first film Jesse and Celine promised each other they would meet in six months. The new film could be set six months later but I doubt it- I don’t think we’ll be asked to believe that Jesse and Celine are only six months older while Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are ten years older.

So, did they meet up after six months like they promised? I think so. If for no other reason than that at the end of the first film they didn’t exchange any contact information. How could they be in touch after ten years if they didn’t keep that date? I’d say that they met up and spent about two weeks together and that it was great. This time they did exchange contact info and discussed a desire to try to make a trans-Atlantic romance work.

They agreed that for the next visit Celine would meet Jesse in the U.S. They set a date but Celine gets scared and calls Jesse the week before and says that she won’t be able to make it. They make several other attempts to get together but Celine won’t commit. Jesse eventually stops making the effort and they lose touch.

In the past ten years Celine has definitely become much more financially successful than Jesse. She was definitely the more driven and career minded of the two. She definitely wears a suit to work every day.

Jesse is doing well too. He was definitely a smart and competent guy but I can’t see him being part of the mainstream business world. I don’t think he ever made his 24 hour a day cable program, I think his ambitions probably shifted to mountains that were not quite so high, but I think he probably ended up quite comfortable owning a small business like an independent bookstore or a coffee shop- with live music on the weekends.

Neither of them finds love. Jesse does better at being happy. He had always thought of life as a <paraphrase> party that he was crashing <paraphrase> anyway. He would eventually accept that he didn’t get the girl and he would find other things to enjoy. Still, he longs for Celine and often wishes for another chance.

Celine, although she has a wonderful career, feels empty. She had a brief unhappy marriage. She continues to seek fulfillment through achieving professional goals but thinks of Jesse and regrets losing him.

I’m tempted to say that she is in the U.S. traveling for business in Jesse’s city and on an impulse contacts him and that’s how they get together. But I really think that this movie will take place in Europe again and not in the U.S. (No hard reasons for that prediction, I just kinda think that Linklater would want it to be in Europe, also that bridge in the poster looks very “European”.) I don’t think Jesse would call Celine out of the blue, but let’s say that he reads about one of her latest successes in a magazine- which fills him in on where she’s been since he last heard from her- and on impulse he buys a plane ticket and is off to Europe to “surprise” her.

His appearance is immediately met with joy on her part and this time, older and more experienced, they find true love and happiness.

So, fans of the first movie, what do you think? Agree with any of this? Or am I way off the mark according to your interpretation of the characters?

I’ve seen promos for Before Sunset - does that count as “new information”? :wink:

Some of your speculation is addressed in the promo (or was it a preview in a theater? Can’t remember).

[The following is based on the promo I’ve seen. If you’d rather wait 'til you see it yourself, don’t click…]


It definitely seems like it takes place 10 years later. They’re sitting in the back of a cab, talking. It appears that Celine has found much success in her life since she last saw Jesse. They mention that much time has passed since they’ve seen each other, which of course they wouldn’t do if it’d only been six months or so.[/spoiler]

I’m looking forward to the new one, as long as he keeps the tone consistent. The first one was intimate, a two-character study that worked surprisingly well, considering how little “action” there was. The leads acquitted themselves nicely.

Will Celine and Jesse’s brief scene together in Waking Life be addressed in any way in Before Sunset?

D’oh! :smack: I completely forgot that! I’ll definitely rewatch Waking Life before going to see Before Sunset.

I also saw a trailer for the film, so this is what I remember: He’s at a book signing when she runs into him. The film doesn’t address if this is an accident or if she intentionally goes when she knows he’s in town. The trailer also suggests that they’re both “available” in some sense, and the movie hinges on whether they act on something these many years later. I was actually under the impression that even more time than 10 years has passed, but I can’t be sure. I also got the impression that they hadn’t met 6 months later. IIRC, I also read somewhere that the movie takes place in real time, so it’s not a day they spend together, but just a couple hours.