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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The romance is gone but the small flashes of affection and burst's of rage feel more real and affecting. They are no longer two drifters who philosophise, they are real people who discuss each other and the life they have built together. To me Jesse's firm 'last chance' to Celine when he pleas "I'm trying to make you laugh" was the peak of this perfect addition to a perfect trilogy. 5/5
I was so very nervous for this. Saw it in a completely empty theater and let me assuage those with similar fears, it was utterly sublime. The most complex and layered of the three films, Before Midnight benefits greatly from having seen Sunrise/Sunset, from knowing and loving these evolving, flawed characters, but it's also probably the best individual film of the trilogy. Might be Linklater's best film period.
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.