Directed by Richard Linklater • 1995 • United States
Starring Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy
An exquisitely understated ode to the thrill of romantic possibility, the inaugural installment of THE BEFORE TRILOGY opens with a chance encounter between two solitary young strangers. After they hit it off on a train bound for Vienna, the Paris university student Celine and the scrappy American tourist Jesse impulsively decide to spend a day together before he returns to the U.S. the next morning. As the pair roam the streets of the stately city, Richard Linklater’s tenderly observant gaze captures the uncertainty and intoxication of young love, from the first awkward stirrings of attraction to the hopeful promise that Celine and Jesse make upon their inevitable parting.