Before Sunset -
I didn't like this as much as the first. It's still written very well, and has the same overall feeling, but it was missing something. Maybe that something would have happened if it wasn't so damn short(80 min!). Especially in regards to how it ended, which I just found annoying, and not satisfying. Julie Delpy still looked great, but Ethan not so much. Too much smoking perhaps? Who knows. It was still good, and I'm looking forward to seeing Before Midnight.
I liked Sunset more (but it was also the first one *I* watched, Before Sunrise came after I liked Set so much).
And yeah I don't get what happened. Younger Hawke looked pretty damn handsome; then I guess he smoked a ton, got his heart broken by Uma Thurman, got reaaallly thin and just...never adjusted physically.
In terms of the ending, I didn't like it either when I was younger (I wanted to SEE SOMETHING!!!), but as I grew up I realized less was more (and with the third [and final?] movie, it basically solidifies the consequences of the ending and that, marriage aside, he is staying with his French flame).
"Baby, you are gonna miss that plane"
I think a kiss or any other sort of "grand gesture" would have been kinda forced. They were chatting and trying to rekindle something that happened almost a decade ago. Also, Sunrise and Midnight leave time for things to happen in between a montage, but Sunset makes you watch the series of events with no break (a risky move, but I think it worked...I also have no problem taking a sort-of "virtual tour" of Paris).
Plus, their puppy love
was there...it was SO there that nothing more really needed to be said. Asking the "if you had one night to live" question was an easy trap almost for an obvious answer, and her singing a song with his name in it was just fuel on the fire. Then there's the scene where they're in the cab; he's talking about a dream he had of her and she reaches out (but gets too shy to completely touch him):
For a movie with no
kissing or sex scenes, I thought it captured love and general 'amour' for someone perfectly. Especially in that "will-they, won't-they" aspect.
If I didn't hit on "what's missing" then I'm not sure what else to say. Rather, it happens. Like in a movie I saw recently....The Grand Budapest Hotel
If you're a Wes Anderson fan, you know what you're getting into. If you like his work, you'll love this film; if you don't, then you won't.
But anyways, and as a Wes fan, I *loved
* this film. The perfect cinematography, the cast, the messages, the homor, and the usual stylings that make his films a pleasure to watch.
Gustave, played by Ralph Fiennes, plays a *perfect* Gentleman, with great poise, a respectable attitude, a touch of brilliance, a great honesty and kindness and....he's surprisingly potty mouthed for his "character type" bursting into a "holy shit" or "what the fuck" (and its derivatives) when you least expect, but still delivered in such a subtle and soft way it's almost hard to notice --- and it's perfect.
Something did bother me about the whole ordeal. I'm not too sure the conclusion is terribly revolutionary (the build up was probably better than conclusion itself), or if the plot is just a bit too convoluted, or maybe the sometimes awkward pacing in terms of what takes the "plot's time" up. But i will say it has the best Klimt-esque painting of two lesbians masturbating I've ever seen and quite possible one of the greatest casts ever assembled (filled with their quirks and charms).
I really, really recommend it if you enjoy Wes' works or are in the mood for something different. It's not without flaws, but it's a gem nonetheless.
EDIT: Grim, sorry if I quote you a lot here, but I think in some sense we have a similar taste in movies. Not always our opinions of them (which, IMO, makes the conversations better), but more in what seems to appeal to us x)