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January 17, 2014

Scene and Heard: Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater

Photo Credit: Ari Perilstein for Getty Images

Editors' Notes

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy

Photo Credit: Ari Perilstein for Getty Images

Editors' Notes

Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and Richard Linklater

Editors' Notes

Poster for the film Before Sunrise, directed by Richard Linklater.

Editors' Notes

Poster for the film Before Sunset, directed by Richard Linklater.

Editors' Notes

Poster for the film Before Midnight, directed by Richard Linklater.

“We don’t have to break it and share it,” said Julie Delpy, as she accepted a shooting star statue along with Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards held at the Santa Monica Airport’s Barker Hangar on Thursday, January 16. The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) awarded the actors and their director—known for collaborating on the trilogy Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight—with the Louis XIII Genius Award for their work on the screenplays and the films.

The first movie, 1995’s Before Sunrise, depicted a chance meeting on a Eurail train between Jesse (an American sightseer played by Hawke) and Celine (a French student played by Delpy). The two began a conversation that led to a day and night spent in Vienna together. The meet cute launched the love story that continues with Before Sunset (2004) and Before Midnight (2013), all directed by Linklater. The couple reconnects nine years later in Paris in the 2004 film, and the latest movie allows Jesse and Céline to continue the ongoing debate about life, love, and relationships while vacationing in Greece 18 years after their initial train conversation. Throughout the series, the dialog is so well written by the three creatives that the actors often seem to be ad-libbing. However, each conversation is actually written, debated, deconstructed, and perfected by Linklater, Delpy, and Hawke before cameras roll.

After thanking the trilogy’s supporters, Linklater confessed, “The name of this award throws us a little bit.” Hawke noted he was told backstage that the definition of genius was “someone who does the same thing over and over again and expects a different result.” Linklater countered, “No, no, they’re messing with you, that’s the definition of insanity.” But Hawke replied, “That works. We keep making the same movie over and over again and we keep expecting somebody to go see it, and they keep not showing up.” Delpy joined the fray, asking Hawke, “Are you saying we’re getting the insanity award?”

Next, Linklater, Delpy, and Hawke launched into an indecipherable chorus of thank-yous to friends, family, agents, and production companies. Then Hawke and Linklater stopped joking and thanked fans while Hawke noted, “We’re the lowest grossing film trilogy in cinema history, look it up.” Linklater added, “We’re proud of that.” Earlier that morning, their third film, Before Midnight, was nominated for an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay, so the three co-writers may have another chance to try to settle on a definition for genius and insanity in March.

by Elizabeth Varnell


Pictured: Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy
Photo by Ari Perilstein for Getty Images

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