UK Release date: 20th April 1995
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 29th June 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
With the recent release of Richard Linklater’s third instalment in this series, ‘Before Midnight’, there has been a lot of talk about what a great trilogy it is. In fact the praise has reached such heights that even I decided I would take the plunge and see exactly what all the fuss was about. To that end I will watch all three films, (although it may take me some time), and give you my verdict as I see them. Given that romantic dramas are not exactly my cup of tea, I didn’t find this one too bad. I’ll tell you more after this very brief summary.
An American boy, Jesse (Ethan Hawke), meets a French girl, Celine (Julie Delpy), on a train in Europe. The pair get talking and almost immediately hit it off. Jesse is getting off the train in Vienna and he persuades Celine to get off with him so they can spend more time together before he has to catch a plane back home the next morning. We follow the couple as they wander around the city and listen in on their conversations. They meet a variety of folk along the way; a palm reader, a poet, two guys who are in a play and a few others. But all good things must come to an end and when it comes time to say goodbye… You really don’t want me to spoil the ending now do you?
I have to admit that, on the face of it, this film really didn’t have much going for it from my point of view. But, as usual, I went into it with a very open mind and found I was quite pleasantly surprised. I don’t know it was because the film touched those parts of the human psyche that relate to the interaction of the sexes; but I did find their conversations quite enthralling at times whilst at the same time quite entertaining. I guess it’s like eavesdropping on a conversation, you know it’s wrong but you just can’t help it. I thought it was well made, using Vienna very well without becoming a kind of travelogue. I guess it did its job because I’m keen to know what happens next!
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 7.7/10.
IMDb Score: 8.0/10 (based on 87,390 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 77/100: (Based on 18 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 91/100 (based on 65,672 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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