Almost two decades after they met by chance on a Vienna-bound train, Jesse and Celine are married and spending the summer in Greece with their two daughters. Over the course of one evening, the two examine the state of their relationship.
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One of the key differences between what Linklater's been doing with these and Rohmer is that Rohmer always has a very acute sense of place that isn't beholden to visual cliches about a region. Even though we delve deeply into the emotional lives of C+J, we only get a superficial and touristy sense of the Peloponnese. But the last half hour is a tour-de-fuggin-force, so me and Ricky Links be cool, still.
The Celine and Jesse films are some of the most real cinema I have ever seen. We no longer see Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in these roles we see Celine and Jesse like we are flies on the wall in their life. Linklater is one of the greatest and most unique directors of all time and has mastered the way to capture pure human emotions on the screen.
No filmmaker understands the simple, devastating impact of moving from predominantly two-shots to isolating single figures in frame, and Linklater has never used this visual conflict to greater effect than in Before Midnight.
Rohmer does this better. She got annoying over the years. I get them tho (their spouse complaints) - the couple. Too many gender stuff was off-topical. Too many pseudo-savvy life insights. All in all, I disliked it. Dialogue was relentless in a bad way. That sequence on the car woulda been great done by Kiarostami but I felt it dragged on and on, pointlessly. I doubt she was convinced by his last speech too tho. :(
“I think that would be the best one. With us in our 70s. I would just be incredibly happy if we were that old and still friends and still interested in the same subject matter. That would be pretty exciting.” - Ethan Hawke.
Before Midnight never steps wrong or feels anything less than authentic. It’s a natural progression of the characters after another 9 years and, yes, this is exactly what would happen with these two. Taken together, this trilogy is one of the miracles of modern cinema. Hollywood is not supposed to be able to get romance and relationships this right.
Coming off of one of the greatest endings in film (Sunset), I had high expectations. But the newest chapter in one of cinema's best romances, is just spectacular. Funny, brutal, honest and extremely moving. Best of the series in my opinion. Where it stands, it's become one of my favorite film trilogies, but I wouldn't mind if in 9 years we get to visit Celine and Jesse again. Definitely one of the best films of 2013.