Song of the Day #37: ‘Waltz’ – Julie Delpy

And on the seventh day, we come full circle.

While Kath Bloom’s ‘Come Here’ signaled the beginning of a romance in Before Sunrise, things are quite different nine years later when Julie Delpy performs her ‘Waltz’ in Before Sunset.

I remember being both excited and scared when I heard Richard Linkater, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy had reunited to film a sequel to Before Sunrise. On the one hand, I was dying to know what happened with Jesse and Celine and I relished the thought of spending another 90 minutes with them. On the other, I felt the first film was perfect and when you mess with perfection the only way to go is down.

I needn’t have worried. Before Sunset is every bit as good as its predecessor in a completely different way. While the first film captures the exhiliration and possibility of young love, this film deals with the harsher realities of adult life. Jesse and Celine left that magical place and went on to live less than magical lives — falling in and out of careers and relationships.

Reunited in Paris, they are wary of each other at first but soon fall back into the easy chemistry they discovered nearly a decade earlier. And as the film progresses, in real time, it becomes more and more clear that their night in Venice had a bigger impact on their lives than either of them is ready to admit.

In this clip, the next-to-last scene of the film, Celine agrees to play for Jesse a song she has written. A song he quickly realizes is about him. It’s right about here that he realizes letting her go again would be the second biggest mistake of his life.

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3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #37: ‘Waltz’ – Julie Delpy

  1. Dana says:

    so I was right–7 days, no musical. That’s a bit like doing a folk song week without Dylan or a jazz week without Miles Davis. But, as I said at the beginning, quite predictable of you:)

  2. Clay says:

    No musical if you discount the two musicals I picked, I guess!

    And as I said, I’m far less interested in going for the obvious pick of a musical when there are so many interesting uses of music in traditional films.

  3. Amy says:

    What I love about this scene (and, for that matter, these films) is how authentic it is (and they are). While Julie Delpy’s voice is good enough, you never feel as though you’re watching an accomplished actor/singer pretending to be an amateur. Instead you sense her discomfort singing – period – let alone singing this song for Jesse. And his expressions, first dutiful attention, then the charming goofy grin to make her feel more comfortable, then the arched eyebrow at the mention of his name, all feel utterly sincere. It was nearly impossible that this film would work, yet somehow it did. And it’s difficult to imagine a better way to conclude the pair than with this scene.

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