Before Midnight

Before Midnight ★★★★

what happened? what happened to the couple we knew and loved? what was once happy now seems old and fading, like a wilted flower, petals ripped violently from their stems. hotel rooms once adorned with emotion and love now seem bare and hollow. you can knock on the wall, but all you'll hear is a resounding echo. maybe go down to the café by the water, glistening in the moon of the midnight. maybe that's where you'll find them, sitting and talking about what they remember, or what they will come to remember. they are building back up what was torn down, and maybe it's best that they're left like that. dusk turns to dawn, sunrise turns to sunset, and eventually, all reaches midnight.

a step down from the excellence of the first two, but still a respectable film on its own. maybe if this movie involved more walking and talking between just Jesse and Celine instead of trying to have a large amount of characters it would have been better, but I didn't feel as attached to this movie as I did with the others. compared to the last two, this movie included a lot more linearplot and had more distinct events, which removes some of the whimsy and honesty of the others. as a trilogy, it's a raw and real portrayal of love and longing, but the last movie is a whimper instead of a bang when it comes to a close for the series. it's bittersweet seeing these characters again, but seeing them fighting instead of loving each other brings me personal pain. it's like seeing relatives fighting at a holiday dinner; you don't want to be in the room when it happens, but at the same time you want to see what happens. maybe Linklater should have just left it open-ended, but it was somewhat nice seeing these characters again. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are great as always, and many themes are touched on, but it seems more linear and problematic than the first two. even though it sounds like I'm hating on this movie, I'm not. besides the fact that I'm disappointed, this still is a good film. it has heartache and characters that feel real, and the conversations are as realistic as you'd expect from a Linklater movie. the cinematography is great as always, and I'm glad that Linklater decided to set this in a different location other then America, which I thought he would do with this movie. it makes this couple feel foreign to a person that lives in America's world, but still feels interesting and captivating enough. if you've seen the first two, it's essential that you see this one, but it's not as good as the rest of the trilogy. overall, it's a beautiful trilogy, but when it comes to this movie, Linklater has done better. I'm not mad though. this is a beautiful trilogy, played out like a tapestry stretched over more than a decade. sunrise, sunset, and midnight all roll into one memory lost in time, but in the end, everything seems fine. everything will be ok.

josh rosenthal liked these reviews