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Posts Tagged ‘Ethan Hawke’

Best Actor nominees ranked in my order of preference:

  1. CHRISTIAN BALE – Vice
  2. RAMI MALEK – Bohemian Rhapsody
  3. VIGGO MORTENSEN – Green Book
  4. BRADLEY COOPER – A Star Is Born

not ranked – WILLEM DAFOE – At Eternity’s Gate*Oscar ACTORS IN A LEADING ROLE Ranked.jpg

* Willem Dafoe is not ranked as I have not seen At Eternity’s Gate, and won’t until its UK release a month after the Oscars.

And the omissions that I think deserved a nomination:

  1. ETHAN HAWKE – First Reformed
  2. BRADY JANDREAU – The Rider
  3. JOAQUIN PHOENIX – You Were Never Really HereOscar BEST ACTOR OMISSIONS.jpg
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The British Academy Film Awards will be awarded on Sunday.  Here are my predictions along with what I would like to see win in the major categories:

Best Film

  • My Choice: Boyhood
  • Prediction: Boyhood
  • Other nominations: The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Theory of Everything, Birdman, The Imitation Gameboyhood-poster

 

David Lean Award for Direction

  • My Choice: Richard Linklater for Boyhood
  • Prediction: Richard Linklater for Boyhood
  • Other nominations: Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birdman, Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Damien Chazelle for Whiplash, James Marsh for The Theory of Everything:richard linklater boyhood

 

Best Leading Actor

  • My choice:  Ralph Fiennes for The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Prediction:  Michael Keaton for Birdman
  • Other nominations: Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game, Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything, Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler.ralph fiennes the grand budapest hotel

 

Best Leading Actress

  • My Choice: Reese Witherspoon for Wild (I haven’t seen still Alice)
  • Prediction: Julianne Moore for Still Alice
  • Other nominations: Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl, Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything, Amy Adams for Big Eyes.Wild

 

Best Supporting Actor

  • My Choice: J.K. Simmons for Whiplash
  • Prediction: J.K. Simmons for Whiplash
  • Other nominations: Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher, Ethan Hawke for Boyhood, Edward Norton for Birdman, Steve Carell for Foxcatcher.j k simmons whiplash

 

Best Supporting Actress

  • My Choice: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood
  • Prediction: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood
  • Other nominations: Keira Knightley for The Imitation Game, Emma Stone for Birdman, Imelda Staunton for Pride, Rene Russo for Nightcrawler.patricia arquette boyhood

 

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer

  • My choice: Stephen Beresford & David Livingstone for Pride (I haven’t seen Kajaki but have heard great things about it)
  • Prediction: Stephen Beresford & David Livingstone for Pride
  • Other nominations: Elaine Constantine for Northern Soul, Yann Demange &Gregory Burke for ’71, Hong Khaou for Lilting, Paul Katis & Andrew de Lotbiniere for Kajaki.Pride

 

Best Original Screenplay

  • My Choice: Richard Linklater for Boyhood
  • Prediction: Richard Linklater for Boyhood
  • Other nominations: Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Damien Chazelle for Whiplash, Dan Gilroy for Nightcrawler, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo for Birdman.richard linklater boyhood

 

Best Screenplay (Adapted)

  • My Choice: Gillian Flynn for Gone Girl
  • Prediction:  Graham Moore for The Imitation Game
  • Other nominations: Jason Hall for American Sniper, Graham Moore for The Imitation Game, Anthony McCarten for The Theory of Everything, Paul King for PaddingtonGillian Flynn

 

Best Cinematography

  • My Choice: Emmanuel Lubezki for Birdman
  • Prediction: Dick Pope for Mr. Turner
  • Other nominations: Hoyte Van Hoytema for Interstellar, Robert D. Yeoman for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Ryszard Lenczewski for Ida: Lukasz Zal,emmanuel lubezki birdman

 

Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film

  • My Choice: Pride or Under the Skin
  • Prediction: Paddington
  • Other nominations: ’71, The Imitation Game, The Theory of EverythingUnder The Skin

 

EE Rising Star Award

  • My Choice: Jack O’Connell
  • Prediction: Shailene Woodley
  • Other nominations: Miles Teller, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Margot RobbieJack OConnell

 

Best Film Not in the English Language

  • Unfortunately, being the only one shown at my local cinema Trash is the only film I have seen so have no opinion on this category.  The nominations are: Ida, The Lunchbox, Two Days, One Night, Leviathan, Trash.Trash

 

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When I first watched Boyhood, I found myself looking out for the charges from year to year.  After a couple of transitions I forgot all about it and just watched the film.  On a second viewing I made a mental note of them with a view to this article.  You can plot the passage of time by Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater’s aging process, or by the changes in Patricia Arquette’s hairstyle and Ethan Hawke’s facial hair.

What I have tried to do is list the key events from each year and put them into context alongside other projects for director Richard Linklater  and stars Arquette and Hawke.  I have also mentioned key world news stories and other significant movies released each year. The dates are based on the start date of 2002 with a few songs and Barack Obama’s 2008 election campaign to check its progress.  All descriptions are from memory of my two viewings of the movie so I cannot guarantee they are totally accurate, the same goes for the dates on the photographs.

boyhood

2002

Introduces Mason Jr. (Ellar Coltrane) his sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) and their mother Olivia (Patricia Arquette).  Young Mason sees his mom fighting with her boyfriend.

Other Projects – Ethan Hawke doesn’t appear in the early part of  film, in 2002 he published his second Novel Ash Wednesday.

In the News – In his first State of the Union address President Bush labels Iran, Iraq, and North Korea “an axis of evil”.

Significant film of the year – City of Godboyhood 2002

2003

Olivia moves the family to Houston to be closer to her mother so she can go back to school.

Other Projects – Richard Linklater  looked like he was taking a step towards the mainstream with the Jack Black comedy School of Rock.

In the News – US space shuttle Columbia crashes. The United States launches war on Iraq and Saddam Hussein is captured.

Significant film of the year – Oldboyboyhood 2003

2004

Mason Sr. (Ethan Hawke), the kids farther is introduced when he returns from Alaska.

Other Projects – Ethan Hawke joined the cast and also appeared in Linklater’s Before Sunset, a sequel to Before Sunrise.  Hawke and co-star Julie Delpy both received writing credits on the film, the pair shared the Adapted Screenplay Oscar with Linklater and Kim Krizan. Linklater also make the TV Movie $5.15/Hr.

In the news – Al Qaeda takes responsibility for terrorist attacks in Spain that keeled more than 200 people.

Significant film of the year – Million Dollar Babyboyhood 2004

2005

We and Mason Jr. are introduced to Olivia’s professor and future husband, Bill Welbrock (Marco Perella).

Other Projects – Patricia Arquette started a six year run on the TV show Medium (2005–2011). Director Richard Linklater  remade the kids baseball movie Bad News Bears with Billy Bob Thornton in the Walter Matthau role.

In the News – Hurricane Katrina  devastated America’s Gulf Coast. The 7/7 terrorist attacks killed 52 people the day after London had won the bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games.

Significant film of the year – Sin Cityboyhood 2005

2006

Olivia and Bill marry, we are introduced to Bill’s kids Randy (Andrew Villarreal) and Mindy (Jamie Howard). We learn Bill is a dick!

Other Projects – Ethan Hawke directed The Hottest State based on his own novel of the same name. Richard Linklater released two films, A Scanner Darkly and Fast Food Nation.  The latter features both Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane.

In the News – Tony Blair announced that he would step down as prime minister the following year.

Significant film of the year – Pan’s Labyrinthboyhood 2006

2007

Bill’s  alcoholism becomes clear.  Bill forces Mason Jr. to get a severe haircut.

Other Projects – Ethan Hawke appeared in Sidney Lumet’s final film Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead while Patricia Arquette was busy with season three of Medium.

In the News – The credit crunch begins.  Tony Blair steps down as British prime minister as planned.  Gordon Brown takes over. Madeleine McCann disappeared from her family’s holiday apartment in Portugal, she is still missing.

Significant film of the year – No Country for Old MenBoyhood 2007

2008

Bill becomes violent and abusive.  Olivia leaves and takes Mason and Samantha and but can’t take Bills kids.

Other Projects – Richard Linklater  made two films, Inning by Inning: A Portrait of a Coach, Documentary about University of Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido.  Me and Orson Welles is a fictionalised version of Orson Welles’ 1937 stage production of Julius Caesar.  Notable as Zac Efron’s first grownup role.

In the News – Barack Obama elected US president.

Significant film of the year – The Dark Knightboyhood 2008

2009

Mason Sr. takes Mason Jr. on a camping trip.  We discover Samantha has a boyfriend resulting in a awkward but amusing conversation about contraception.

Other Projects – Patricia Arquette was still busy with Medium now in its fifth season.  Ethan Hawke appeared in three movies, the most significant being original vampire movie Daybreakers.

In the News – Barack Obama sworn in as America’s 44th President. A pilot landed an airliner on New York’s Hudson River after birds disabled its engines, all 155 passengers and crew were rescued. Fandango Groovers Movie Blog goes live.

Significant film of the year – Inglourious Basterdsboyhood 2009

2010

After another move Olivia now teaches psychology at a local college.  At a Thanksgiving party we meet Jim (Brad Hawkins) and first learn of Mason’s artistic side when he talks to one of his moms students about graffiti.

Other Projects – Patricia Arquette’s time was still taken up by her TV work, no one else released anything significant.

In the News – An earthquake hit Haiti killing approximately a quarter of a million people.  The worst oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry  hit the Gulf of Mexico.

Significant film of the year – Inceptionboyhood 2010

2011

Mason Sr., now married to Annie (Jenni Tooley)with a new baby and having sold his Pontiac GTO, picks up the kids and takes them to visit Annie s parents.  Mason receives various birthday gifts and we learn of his interest in photography.

Other Projects – Richard Linklater reteamed with School of Rock’s Jack Black for the true story Bernie.  In an interesting post script to the story, the real life Bernie Tiede is currently out of prison, and living in an apartment above Linklater’s garage.

In the News – US forces kill the al-Qaida leader, Osama bin Laden in a raid on the house in Pakistan where he had been hiding. Future monarch Prince William marries Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey.

Significant film of the year – Driveboyhood 2011

2012

Mason meets future girlfriend Sheena (Zoe Graham).  When Mason arrives home late he is confronted by a drunk Jim.

Other Projects – Richard Linklater made a six part TV show, Up to Speed.

In the News – Barack Obama is elected for a second term, the Supreme Court upheld the key elements of his health care overhaul.  The London Olympics are hailed a huge success.

Significant film of the year – Skyfallboyhood 2012

2013

Mason and Sheena drive to Austin to visit Samantha who is attending collage there. The pair intend to go there the following year.  It also becomes clear that Olivia and Jim have separated.

Other Projects – Hawke and Linklater made the third part of the “before” series Before Midnight, one of my favourite movies of the year.

In the News – NSA-contractor Edward Snowden leaked hundreds of thousands of documents containing classified intelligence resulting in a debate over modern communication and the boundaries of surveillance.

Significant film of the year – Stokerboyhood 2013

2014

Mason graduates from high school, by this time he has broken up with Sheena who cheated on him.  Olivia sells the family home and moves to a small apartment.  Mason leaves for college having been awarded a scholarship for his photography.  Mason has his life in front of him, but Olivia feels she has nothing left to look forward to.  Like so many Linklater movies the final scene is perfect.

In the News – Renewed unrest in Iraq, crisis in Ukraine, Ebola virus ravaging West Africa.  The world sometimes feels like it is on the brink, if history and these stories have taught us anything, humanity’s ability to survive has thus far been the only thing that out-ways our ability to fuck things up.

Significant film of the year – Boyhood is the most significant movie of the year so far.boyhood 2014boyhood 2014

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” But all the clocks in the city begin to whirr and chime:
‘O let not Time deceive you, You cannot conquer Time”.
W. H. Auden

For people who are obsessed with film (and to start and write a movie blog for over five years I must be pretty obsessive about film) there are directors that you feel belong to you. When I was a student and completely immersed in film the big name to break through was Quentin Tarantino, I love most of his films, but he was never “mine”. When Pulp Fiction opened in 1994 the queue was round the block, Tarantino was everyone’s director. But Richard Linklater always felt like my director. I didn’t see his early films in the cinema, but watched Slacker (1991), Dazed and Confused, (1993), Before Sunrise (1995) when they first came out on video and have seen the second two countless times since. Dazed and Confused is one of my most watched films even making it onto my Desert Island DVDs list ahead of Fandango. As a student none of my contemporaries at university were aware of Dazed and Confused, or Before Sunrise until I recommended them. They are both films I have always been happy to recommend as I am yet to find anyone who hasn’t at least enjoyed them. Film snobs can be a little sniffy about Dazed and Confused but were won over by Before Sunrise (1995). Richard Linklater’s new film Boyhood potentially eclipses all his previous work.boyhood poster

I first became aware of Boyhood when it appeared on IMDB as “untitled 12 year project” at first I thought it was the rumoured Before Sunrise sequel but them Before Sunset (2004) was announced and releases. Then I thought it may be part three, wrong again. Then, if not a synopsis, an idea of the mechanics of Boyhood appeared. Since then I have been hearing rumours about the film and finally got to see it this week. With a Runtime of 166 minutes it is almost exactly the same length as Transformers: Age of Extinction, both are long films but very different films. Despite the fact nothing unusual or outstanding really happens in Boyhood it is totally enthralling, captivating and the three hours flew by. Michael Bay’s latest epic instalment of his robots hitting each other is dull despite almost constant action. Boyhood’s budget was about one-hundredth what Bay spent, while Transformers is certain to make infinitely more money, it is disposable at best, Boyhood will be remembered as being as close to perfection as a film can be.boyhood
For those who don’t know, Boyhood is a unique and a uniquely ambitious film. The idea was conceived by Director Richard Linklater around 2001, he started filming the following year. He cast seven year old Ellar Coltrane in the lead role supported by Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as his parents and Lorelei Linklater (Richard Linklater’s Daugter) as his sister. The film was then shot over the next twelve years telling the story of Mason (Coltrane) from the age of six until he leaves for collage at the age of eighteen.boyhood and Patricia Arquette

What could easily have become an interesting gimmick actually transpires to be by far the best film I have seen all year. Throughout the movie nothing out of the ordinary happens, to make this interesting is the sign of true greatness. To attempt to review a film like this could never do it justice; you could call it a document of an age, a character study, a brilliant comedy, a heart-warming drama or a beautiful film; you could comment on the fantastic script or the brilliant natural acting; or even the interesting concept. All of these are true but also miss the point. The film depicts the milestones of Mason’s life but without the grand moments, it concentrates on the simple day to day as much as the big events. Ultimately it is document of a life, it has no great subtext or agenda, it just follows the twists and turns of adolescence. The film is at its best when it is at its most ordinary. To quote Celine and Jesse from Before Sunrise “all those mundane boring things, everybody has to do every day of their fucking life” or “The poetry of day to day life”. Shot over a number of years it can’t help but document the time in which it is set, in an interview with BBC Radio 4 Richard Linklater describes the film as “a period piece in a present tense”. We see advances in technology and document the political landscape of a nation but they are just background. The marvel of this anomaly of the format is that it doesn’t dwell on it. The same is true of the music. From the opening bars of Aerosmith’s Sweet Emotion in Dazed and Confused it was clear that music is an important part of Linklater movies. Without been too overt the film charts the musical landscape of the time with music as varied as Coldplay, The Flaming Lips, Lady Gaga, Sheryl Crow and Bob Dylan.boyhood ethan hawke

Going into the movie knowing the format I could not help but watch for the changes from year to year, looking at how the actors changed, looking out for the songs of the day, but after a while I completely forgot this and enjoyed it for what it was. This suddenly hit me as Mason reached 18 and I suddenly realised the film would be over soon. Having been sat for nearly three hours I found myself wishing the film would go on for longer. There are very few movies that leave this feeling, is it a sign of perfection or manipulation? Interestingly Dazed and Confused leaves the same feeling as we see Wooderson’s car driving off into the distance.Ellar Coltrane

So far the film has made a modest profit, how much money it makes is insignificant, however the more people who see it the better. It isn’t a film that will change the world, but it may just make the people who see it think. Richard Linklater has already received two Oscar nominations, both for “Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay” (Before Midnight (2013) and Before Sunset (2004)). Unless there are some truly amazing films released in the next six months he surly deserves an third nomination along with one for best director. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette wouldn’t be out of place amongst the supporting actor nominations. Just like the box-office the awards it wins don’t really matter, but if it picks up a few high profile awards it will encourage more people to see it.

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Dom 5As the award season hots up, its time for the third annual groovers awards. All awards are chosen by me and the criteria for eligibility is decided by me. Most of the awards are self explanatory: Best Movie, Best Actor, Best Actor and Actress, Best Screenplay (original or adapted), Best Foreign Language Film. The Best Looking Movie is just as it sounds, the movie that looks best, a combination of design and photography. The Fandango Award; Fandango was writer/director Kevin Reynolds debut (and best) feature, and the first notable movie for star Kevin Costner. The Fandango award goes to a writer, director of star for a debut or breakthrough movie.

Best Movie: StokerStoker

Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón for GravityAlfonso Cuarón for Gravity

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett for Blue JasmineCate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine

Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers ClubMatthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club

Best Screenplay: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke for Before Midnight Richard Linklater Julie Delpy Ethan Hawke for Before Midnight

Best Foreign Language Film: The Broken Circle BreakdownThe Broken Circle Breakdown

Best Looking Movie: GravityGRAVITY

Fandango Award:  The award goes to Jeremy Lovering and Alice Englert for In Fear. Although his debut movie, Jeremy Lovering has been directing for TV for 20 years. Although this is rising star Alice Englert third movie, it was actually shot before the other two. Jeremy Lovering and Alice Englert for In FearA special mention to Dustin Hoffman who at the age of 75 and after more than 50 years in the business decided to turn his hand to directing with Quartet but he didn’t win.Dom 5

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I had heard rumours a couple of years ago that Richard Linklater was working on a follow up to Before Sunset (2004) but didn’t hear anything else until someone mentioned that it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last month, now called Before Midnight. Given that there were nine years between Before Sunrise and Before Sunset my first reaction was that it is too soon to make a third film. Then I realised it has been nine years since Before Sunset, then I felt old! When before Sunset came out in 2004, I was surprised, firstly that an indie film was receiving a sequel, then secondly that it was getting one after such a long gap. It doesn’t seem like long ago that I was sat in a cinema watching it, this is a prime example of how our perception of time speeds up as we get older. It also got me thinking about the original film and how I came to see it.Before Midnight

Back in 1995 I was a cynical film student interested in young hip directors like Quentin Tarantino and the greats I was studying: Ford, Hitchcock, Kurosawa, Welles etc. A few friends were going to Before Sunrise (1995). Was I interested in seeing what was billed as a romantic drama? In a word NO! But, I had seen Slacker (1991) and Dazed and Confused (1993), liked the former, loved the latter. Although not one of my favourite directors the way he is now, Richard Linklater was certainly on my radar. I also to be honest had a bit of a thing for Julie Delpy after seeing Killing Zoe (1993) and Three Colours: White (1994). So I went along not expecting anything, what happened, I loved it. In a year that included Heat, The Usual Suspects, Se7en and Casino it is easily in my top three on the year. More importantly than that, it taught me a lesson about being judgmental of movies and of perceived genres. I own both movies on DVD and have watched them back to back many times including just a few weeks ago and am never disappointed.Before Sunset

Part of the appeal of the movie is the natural realism and the familiarity of the situation. We have all met someone in passing on the street, on public transport in a shop and strike up a conversation. Some of those lead to lasting relationships, but most are passing conversations that don’t go anywhere. We get of at our stop, or get served in the shop and we never see the person again. The movie gives us the what if of life. Bet then we get to the end of Before Sunrise, an ending that cuts deep down into the viewers personality and tells us about our outlook in life. – WARNING SPOILER ALERT – Jesse & Celine (Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy) spend an afternoon and a night getting to know each other before having to go their separate ways. Without exchanging contact details they agree to meet up six months later. Did they meet up or did one or even both of them not make it? Until Before Sunset we could only speculate and what you think happens says a lot about you as a viewer and as a person. It also leaves a problem when writing a sequel that was again perfectly resolved.Before Sunrise

Given the way Before Sunset ended it is easy to speculate where the characters will be in Before Midnight, but I hope Richard Linklater has some surprises for us. With a script by Linklater and the stars Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke who appear so perfectly in tune with the characters we can be confident that whatever happens we will not be disappointed with the direction they take.

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As I sat watching Silver Streak on TV, a movie I haven’t seen for about twenty years, I suddenly realised something I have always know in the back of my mind; there is something magical about movies set on trains. Air travel and the jet set should be more sexy, it probably is, but its far less cinematic, Planes are little more than a mode of transport, they are the way James Bond gets from one exotic local to another, but trains are the locations in themselves. True, plains have been the setting for movies live Air Force One, Flight Plan or Red Eye, but none of these movies offer anything new that we haven’t seen before in movies like The Narrow Margin (the 1952 original, although the Gene Hackman, Anne Archer remake isn’t bad either). The size of a train is what makes it so suitable for a film, particularly a thriller or murder mystery, they are big enough to provide the space need for the action to play out but small enough to create just enough claustrophobia and intimacy.

A common theme of train set movies if people finding love, romance or just sex on a journey. North by Northwest features one of the best seduction scenes ever as Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint flirt and seduce each other over dinner. The movie then ends with the most audacious ending as the train itself becomes a phallic symbol in the most overt of innuendos that only Hitchcock could get away with. In a lot of ways Silver Streak condenses all the ideas of North By Northwest down to a train based part of the movie with just enough action, comedy and absurdity to keep it the right side of parody.

Although only a small section of Some Like it Hot is set on a train, it is a fantastic part, not least as its where we are introduced to ‘Sugar’ Kane (Marilyn Monroe). James Bond has spent his fair share of time on train, most notably in From Russia with Love (1963). Encapsulating the romance and the danger as Bond (Sean Connery) woos Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi) and fights ‘Red’ Grant (Robert Shaw). Bringing things more up to date Harry Potter first meets Hermione on the Hogwarts Express, it is also the place he first encounters the dementors.

As the world shrinks under the weight of ever the increasing progress of technology the magic of trains in movies evaporates, but filmmakers will always find ways to bring it back. This can involve setting movies in more exotic places like The Darjeeling Limited (2007) and Transsiberian (2008) or in the past: Water for Elephants (2011). In this age of laptop computers and MP3 players I wonder how often people actually strike up a conversation with a stranger on a train anymore? That could be a good or a bad thing depending on who you talk to: Guy Haines (Farley Granger) encounters psychotic Bruno Anthony (Robert Walker), who has a plan to help him get away with murder in Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train (1951) (adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s novel of the same name with a screenplay by Raymond Chandler). On the other hand in Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise, American student Jesse (Ethan Hawke) has a very different experience when he meets Céline (Julie Delpy), a young French woman on her way home to Paris.

Next time you are watching a movie set on a train (and there a lot, I have only mentioned a few) have a think about the setting and if it would work anywhere else.

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