The BFI is brilliant. As part of their Love season, they showed Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight one after the other and I think I ended up paying about £5 for each film. Ace!
The Trilogy are three of my favourite films, but I haven’t ever seen them all in one go. I absolutely want to do this every week now, as it’s the best way to see them – Jesse and Céline aging 18 years in a matter of hours, their relationship developing. I completely fell in love with them both again, any cynicism I have over “romantic” films just melting away.
1995 Ethan Hawke is a dreamboat. I was only a teenager back then, but he was definitely the type of man that awkward, spotty, teenage-me would have a mad crush over. The leather jacket, the floppy hair, the silly beard – I can feel myself swooning just typing those words. And the way he looked at Julie Delpy. Holy crap! There is such an intensity in his eyes and it’s effortlessly easy to suspend your disbelief, to actually believe that Ethan and Julie are a couple.
I’m swooning again.
Although I have a soft spot in my heart for Before Sunrise, Before Sunset was always my favourite and for two moments in particular.
- When Jesse sees Céline in the bookstore at the beginning. His shock, joy, relief, pain – it’s all there in a brief second and it’s glorious.
- When Jesse says “I know” at the end. Hands down, my favourite line in cinema EVER. He knew from the moment he saw Céline. He knew.
I’m fangirling all over Ethan Hawke here, but Julie Delpy has just as much of my love. She plays Céline with just the right amount of anger and passion, and I feel everything she does in Before Midnight. If Husband and I ever
lose our minds have children, I am sure we’d be having the same conversations that they have, from the car to the dinner table to the hotel. It’s reassuring, and so comforting to see what I think of as a real relationship in film.
The BFI showed them just right as well – I was bemoaning the fact that there were gaps between the three films, and that we got booted out of the screen at the end of each, but it gave me and Tim a chance to get out, grab some coffee, and dissect our favourite scenes with contented little sighs at the beautiful love story that was unfolding on screen.
It was a perfect Saturday evening on the South Bank.