last updated - Sunday, February 1, 2015.
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We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna.
Whilst Before Midnight, the concluding chapter (or is it?) in Jesse and Celine’s decades spanning romantic saga, is as insightful, intimate and articulate as the preceding installments it proves to be quite a different experience. Gone is the hopefulness of youth and in its place is the pragmatism of adult life as the fairy tale couple come to terms with the reality of their relationship.
Richard Linklater’s Before… series is one of the finest relationship dramas in all of cinema. Spanning twenty years and some of Europe’s most beautiful cities, the trilogy has emotionally grown with the characters and audience. Whilst both Before Sunrise, and to a lesser extent, Before Sunset, were built on the optimism of a what-if fantasy,…
The Good: Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy deliver the finest performances of their careers; absolutely Oscar-worthy stuff. Top-notch screenplay. Perfect balance of romance, drama, and comedy. Rapid-fire laughs; more hilarious than the previous two films combined. Quotes galore: "You are the fucking mayor of crazy town." "The upside to being over 35 is you don't get raped as much." "Kissy, kissy. Titty, titty. Pussy..." The impressive long take of the car ride from the airport. Jesse and Celine's conversation with their friends at the lunch table. Celine's lab rat impression. Celine's bimbo act. The walk to the hotel. The epic quarrel in the hotel room. The final scene. The "letter." Pretty much…
"Its still there. Its still there. Is still there. Its gone..."
Jesse and Celine are sitting at a little bistro table next to each other while staring out at the sun setting behind a hill in southern Greece. They are at a nice little place by the waterside and there are torches lit, and quiet conversations going on in the background. You can almost feel the warm breeze and taste the oceanic air. They are both staring at the setting sun and Celine is commenting on how its still there, still there, and then its gone below the hill. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy's age lined faces are now cast in shadow and a slight frown appears on both of…
Sunny Sunday symphony
Sands seeping slowly
Slowly suddenly swiftly
I saw this at a Press & Industry screening at Sundance. About a half hour before the screening, an executive from a studio showed up. Someone in line asked if he was attached to the film in any way and he said, "No, I'm just here as a fan."
It was that kind of screening.
It's probably impossible for me to have hated this movie. They would have had to spectacularly fuck it up, and there's no reason why they would. They're too smart and it's not like this is a sequel to a film that made $100M.
At the screening, the audience was rapt. People were tearing up before the credits were done. By the end, nearly everyone was.
This review contains no notable spoilers for Before Midnight, but does talk about Before Sunrise/Sunset
For the past several days, I have come back and forth struggling to review Richard Linklater's Before Midnight. I went through the various stages of formulaic review openers that ran through my head. "What is love?" I thought of starting one review with. No, too generic and pretentious. Not authentic enough. A review about my personal life in relation to this film? No, I want to talk about why this film is great, not me. A generic rundown of the film? This film is more special than that.
It is such a hard film to write about, not due to it lacking simplicity. What has…
The final chapter in Linklater's trilogy and by far my favorite. This is very a strong movie, with lots of truths, and a fantastic score.
This is really a review for the trilogy but while the first one is probably my favorite, the third one is the most important piece of the puzzle that completes the theme of the story. That theme makes the trilogy great.
At first I thought that the movies didn't have much of a plot other than two people getting to know each other. But as I watched all three of the movies, I realized something. The movie isn't about a plot, it isn't about what happens during the movie. It's about what happens during the character's lives and how time effects them. To me, it seems that the movies were made so that the viewers could ponder what happens to…
Richard Linklater painfully and romantically concludes the Before trilogy in Before Midnight. Initially, I was very disappointed to see such a large ensemble featured in the film as my heart lies firmly with Jesse and Celine, but the choice makes sense. As a couple now who has lived together for years, their world is larger than one extended interaction. While I missed the unabashed romance of the earlier chapters, their is a beauty in the brutality and the honesty of their discussions. They aren't getting to know each other and falling in love. They aren't reconnecting after years of absence and regret. They are in a committed, long term relationship. They know each other. They each others' strengths, weaknesses, vulnerabilities,…
Well, on this third chapter, it's clear that the thrill between them is gone and the fights take place due to the omitted differences along the way since 1994, such as the clash of their professional options, and the children, their own and the other boy from Jesse's first wife. With this being said, the fairy tale actually was exactly that - A cute illusion. And here is where Richard Linklater's notion of cinematic chronological time loses a bit of its charm, because he abuses a little of this cute illusion and makes me question his purpose, because there aren't this kind of happy endings in real life. Secretly, and before we know it, in the future, Jesse and Celine…
What a ride is this trilogy. 18 years after witnessing the romance and idealistic love of Jesse and Celine in Sunrise and 9 after experiencing a mixture of passion, regret, problems, hate, romance and love in Sunset, Midnight strikes with the problems of marriage and real life.
Before Midnight is a different experience to the other ones. Here Jesse and Celine interact with exterior characters, and the movie plays for a much longer time-spann. However, it's still about their relationship, and it feels so realistic as watching a married couple loving and fighting. Midnight explores many issues in married life, like trust, responsability and fidelity, and gives a lot of life lessons about it.
I don't know if it's the last one (I hope not), but Before... is already, as a whole, probably the best human love story in cinema, with each of its parts focusing on a different aspect of love.
I liked the second one better.
The nearly-month long period of time I have been indulging in Richard Linklater's utterly remarkable Before trilogy has not only made me more observant on fabled ideas such as life, love, and romance, but it has made me appreciate human connection and relationships more than I have in the past. I've always looked to connect and strike up real, meaningful relationships with those that I've met, but Linklater's Before trilogy has really made me analyze the beauty of the progression of relationships and, often, how feelings for someone can change for both the positive and the negative. It's the kind of film that puts a grandiose idea into perspective by showing you an application, giving you a representation of ideas…
A great, near-flawless romantic comedy. I need to see the earlier two now.
last updated - Sunday, February 1, 2015.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
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