Before Sunrise

Synopsis: American tourist Jesse and French student Celine meet by chance on the train from Budapest to Vienna. Sensing that they are developing a connection, Jesse asks Celine to spend the day with him in Vienna, and she agrees. So they pass the time before his scheduled flight the next morning together. How do two perfect strangers connect so intimately over the course of a single day? What is that special thing that bonds two people so strongly? As their bond turns to love, what will happen to them the next morning when Jesse flies away?
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Richard Linklater
Production: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  1 win & 7 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
101 min

Do you have any idea

what they were arguing about?

Do you speak English?


No. I'm sorry,

my German is not very good.

Have you heard that

as couples age...

...they lose their ability

to hear each other?


Supposedly, men lose their ability

to hear high-pitched sounds...

...and women lose hearing

in the low end.

I guess they nullify each other.

I guess. Nature's way of allowing

couples to grow old together...

...without killing each other.

What are you reading?

Oh, yeah.

How about you?

I was thinking about going

to the lounge car.

- Would you like to come with me?

- Yeah.


How do you speak such good English?

I went to school for a summer

in Los Angeles.

- It's fine here?

- Yeah, this is good.

And I spent some time in London.

- Wow.

- How do you speak such good English?

Me? I'm American.

- You're American? Are you sure?

- Yeah.

No, I'm joking.

I knew you were American.

And you don't speak

any other language, right?

Yeah, yeah.

I get it, I get it.

I'm the crude, dumb,

vulgar American...

...who doesn't speak other languages,

who has no culture. But I tried.

I took French in high school.

When I first got to Paris...

...I stood in line

at the metro station.

I was practicing.


And I get up there,

and I look at this woman...

...and my mind goes blank. And I say,

"I need a ticket to get to... "

So anyway...

So where are you headed?

Well, back to Paris.

- My classes start next week.

- You're still in school? Where?

La Sorbonne. You know?


You're coming from Budapest?

- I was visiting my grandmother.

- Oh. How is she?

She's okay.

- She's all right?

- She's fine.

- How about you? Where are you going?

- I'm going to Vienna.


What's there?

No idea.

I'm flying out of there tomorrow.

You're on holiday?

I don't really know what I'm on.

You know?

I've just been traveling around,

riding trains for two or three weeks.

You were visiting friends

or just on your own?

I had a friend in Madrid, but...

- Madrid, that's nice.

- I got a Eurail pass... what I did.

That's great.

So has this trip around Europe

been good for you?

Yeah, sure. It's been...

It sucked.


It's had its...

I'll tell you, sitting for weeks on end

looking out the window...

...has actually been kind of great.

What do you mean?

Well, you know, for instance... have ideas that you

ordinarily wouldn't have.

- What kind of ideas?

- Want to hear one?

- Tell me.

- All right.

I have this idea, okay,

for a television show.

Some friends of mine

are cable-access producers.

Do you know what that is?

Anybody can produce a show real cheap,

and they have to put it on.

I have this idea for a show that lasts

What you do is you get...

...365 people from cities

all over the world... do these 24-hour documents

of real time.

Capturing life as it's lived.

You know, it would start with a guy

waking up in the morning...

...and taking the long shower...

...eating a little breakfast,

making a little coffee...

...reading the paper...

Wait. All those mundane,

boring things...

...everybody has to do every day

of their f***ing life?

I was going to say,

"The poetry of day-to-day life. "

You say it your way.

I'll say it my way.

- Think of it like this...

- Who's gonna watch?

Think about it like this. Why is it

that a dog sleeping in the sun... so beautiful?

It is. It's beautiful.

But a guy taking money

from a bank machine...

...looks like a complete moron?

So it's like a National Geographic

program, but on people.


What do you think?

Yeah, I can see it.

Like, 24 boring hours... Sorry...

...and a three-minute sex scene

where he falls asleep right after.

Yeah, and that would

be a great episode.

People would talk about that episode.

You and your friends could

do one in Paris if you wanted.

I don't know. The key, the thing

that haunts me is the distribution.

Getting these tapes from town to town

so it would play continuously.

Because it would have to play all

the time, or it just wouldn't work.

Thank you.


You know what?

Not service oriented.

Just an observation about Europe.

My parents never really

spoke of the possibility...

...of my falling in love or

getting married or having children.

Even as a little girl...

...they wanted me to think as

a future career as a, you know...

...interior designer or lawyer

or something like that.

I'd say to my dad,

"I want to be a writer. "

And he'd say, "Journalist. "

I'd say I wanted to have a refuge for

stray cats. He'd say, "Veterinarian. "

I'd say I wanted to be an actress.

He'd say, "TV newscaster. "

It was this constant conversion

of my fanciful ambition into these...

...practical moneymaking ventures.

I had a good bullshit detector

when I was a kid.

I always knew

when they were lying to me.

By high school, I was dead set...

...on listening to what everybody

thought I should do with my life...

...and doing the opposite.

Nobody was ever mean about it.

I just could never get very excited...

...about other people's ambitions

for my life.

But you know what?

If your parents never...

...fully contradict you about anything

and are nice and supportive...

Right. makes it even harder

to officially complain.

Even when they're wrong,

it's this passive-aggressive sh*t.

You know what I mean?

Rate this script:4.0 / 4 votes

Richard Linklater

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Before Sunrise" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 16 Jun 2024. <>.

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