Before Sunrise | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Richard Linklater goes Hollywood--triumphantly and with an overall intelligence, sweetness, and romantic simplicity that reminds me of wartime weepies like The Clock (1945). After meeting on a train out of Budapest, a young American (Ethan Hawke) and a French student (Julie Delpy) casually explore Vienna for 14 hours. What emerges from their impromptu date has neither the flakiness of Linklater's Slacker nor the generational smarts of his Dazed and Confused (though it's closer in its picaresque form and lyricism to the former), but it does manage to say a few things about the fragility and uncertainty of contemporary relationships. Linklater's tact and sincerity in handling such potentially mawkish material are as evident in what he leaves out as in what he includes, and if Hawke sometimes seems a mite doltish and preening, Delpy is a consistent delight. Kim Krizan collaborated with Linklater on the script, which abounds in lively dialogue and imaginative digressions. Don't expect too much and you might be inordinately charmed. 900 N. Michigan, Evanston, Norridge, Golf Glen.

--Jonathan Rosenbaum

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Still.

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