Before Sunset ★★★★★

Even though Before Sunset has always been my favorite, I often regarded Before Sunrise as possessing the most fantasy and romance and enchantment in the trilogy. It was a time of their own making, in a little world so far separated from anything in their real lives. Their eventual goodbyes were anticipated half-way through the film, and that effectively built up an anxiety that couldn’t be shaken off, no matter how hard Jesse and Celine and the audience wished it away. In Sunset, nothing is otherworldly; the world is not their own— they belong to it, with its obligations and deadlines and mundanity. But, yet, the brief span of seventy minutes doesn't completely conjure up the same feelings of anxiety as Sunrise, even with an impending plane to catch. The fantasy and romance and enchantment here is drenched in gold, hazy light. It’s Jesse and Celine walking through a Parisian garden path. Riding a tourist boat through the Seine. It’s them exchanging glances while walking up the stairs to her apartment. It’s Julie Delpy’s sweet voice as she sings a waltz. This whole movie is a fantasy and a romance and an enchantment.

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