Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

The first film in one of cinema's smallest trilogies, Richdar Linklater's Before Sunrise is simple in its conceit: An American traveling across Europe has time to kill before catching an early-morning train out of Vienna. He meets a French woman facing a similar predicament, and the two decide to spend the rest of the day and night walking around the city.

They talk. They argue about how the world works. Jesse, the American, postures like a hardscrabble cynic. Céline's a touch more mature to be so cynical. They're attracted to each other. Is this the start of a relationship? That it's the first part of a trilogy is telling, but Linklater's film avoids the conventions of Hollywood romances to get at something lovelier, and sadder. RS