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About the Movie
Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) first met in their twenties in Before Sunrise; reunited in their thirties in Before Sunset; and, now, in director Richard Linklater's amazing Before Midnight, they face the past, present and future; family, romance, and love. Now married and in Greece, the couple looks for a night of passion, but instead their idyllic night turns into a test of their relationship, and a discussion of what their future holds for them.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 187
- Fresh: 183
- Rotten: 4
- Average Rating: 8.7/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Love is messy here, life cannot be controlled, satisfaction is far from guaranteed. Romance is rocky at best. But romance still is.
Fresh: Hawke and Delpy, who co-wrote the screenplay with Linklater, make this oscillation between badinage and feistiness, cosiness and irritability, look effortless.
Fresh: This is a universal X-ray of bourgeois love, one that in a few decades will get around to something like Amour.
Fresh: The trouble with those first two film was their souffle-light scenarios...Here, however, things are much juicier as infidelity, commitment, divorce, resentment and all the other soul-sapping things that clock in when you hit your 40s come into play.
No doubt, the best film of 2013
Might I start by saying that this is my least-favorite of the trilogy (meaning, I liked Before Sunrise and Before Sunset more). But I still gave this film a 10/10, which speaks to just how good the whole trilogy is. Forget nearly every other romance movie made in the past 20 years. These three films are the pre-eminent love stories of our generation. Buy it. You absolutely won't regret it.
ROMANCE MEETS REALITY IN THIS RICHLY AUTHENTIC DRAMA
We were first introduced to the characters of Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) when they were strangers in their twenties meeting one another by chance on a train to Vienna in 1995's "Before Sunset." Then, in 2004's "Before Sunrise," we caught up with the two lovers once again as they reconnected in Paris. Now, nine more long years later, we finally catch up with the American-French couple, who've settled down together and have started a small family. And just like in the first two films, this movie takes place throughout the course of one entire day, as we follow them on a beautifully scenic Greek island listening to the many conversations between them and others that are occasionally amusing, deeply emotional, and powerfully resonant. What initially starts out as an idyllic day of pleasure soon turns into a heated test of their relationship, and a giant discussion of what their future holds for them. And just as the hidden cracks in their love life uneasily begin to reveal themselves, so do the best, genuine aspects of this beautifully filmed, intricately structured, exceptionally written sequel.
Jesse and Celine are at the end of a six-week holiday in Greece. Jesse's 13-year-old son Hank (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick) is returning to his bitter mother in Chicago, while they prepare to go home to Paris with their 7-year-old twins (Jennifer and Charlotte Prior). Celine is getting ready for a big new job, but Jesse is wondering whether they should think about moving to America to be closer to Hank. And it's this disparity that sparks a strong, extended conversation about the fragility of their future together.
If "Sunrise" touched on the euphoria of instant attraction, and "Sunset" explored the bittersweet allure of reigniting the flame, then "Before Midnight," in its own quiet, understated way, is about the tough, exasperating business of keeping a relationship alive. As these 41-year-olds are approaching middle age and wondering about the life-altering choices they've made, they still have a passion for each other and their children, but is that simply enough to sustain their close bond over the coming decades? That's what director Richard Linklater deftly explores as we follow our two characters simply chatting together in a marathon-length master shot captured entirely in the front seat of a car, interacting with a small group of young and old friends in a grand wine-and-dine sequence that feels fluent and organic, strolling along through the gorgeous Greek countryside, and finally, facing each other in a hotel room for a surprisingly tense battle of words. Each slow-moving scene here greatly transitions to the next with such charm and simplistic elegance that it almost comes as a shock when the film finally builds up to its emotionally heated climax. Both their easy banter and bitter, resentful recriminations are so truthful that it's sometimes hard to watch, and yet, their personal issues only manage to resonate more with us as the movie progresses. Hawke has greatly settled into Jesse's skin as a writer who thinks deeply and works out his feelings through his art, while Celine is basically the same character Delpy usually plays: an emotionally driven woman who always feels preoccupied with the demands of life and uses her sharp wit to fiercely express herself. Their powerful chemistry together is raw and unbelievably real, both in the story's gently romantic moments and the darkly painful confrontations. It's a true testament to Linklater's authentic execution and the lead actors' masterful performances, as all three have taken what began as a hopeful love story nearly two decades ago into a painfully genuine relationship that's as messy as it is unpredictable.
At the end of the day, "Before Midnight" is much more than a well-acted romantic drama, not to mention the best chapter in an exceptionally unique, utterly fascinating film series. It's ultimately a rich, endearing, and beautifully complex slice of life that offers intelligent and powerful perspectives on love, marriage, and long-term commitment. And just as this latest entry draws most of its power from its relationship to "Sunrise" and "Sunset," those previous films gain a brand new poignancy in retrospective. Their resurfaced memories of better times fuel the energy that makes this movie such a success, and it simply leaves us wondering where Jesse and Celine will possibly be another nine years from now. With its incredible performances that linger long after the credits, "Midnight" is one of the best movies of 2013 and a true must-see. Honestly, 2022 can't come soon enough.
This film is a beautiful last installment in the “Before” trilogy. When “Before Midnight” came out I had not seen the first two nor was I aware of the first two. Like anybody would I googled the film and noticed the films before it. I watched “Before Sunrise” then “Before Sunset” all in the same day. The following day my excitement gave me no choice than to see the third installment. Seeing that the first two were fantastic I had to see if the filmmakers were able to make a nearly perfect trilogy. And they accomplished greater in my opinion. These three films were flawless and it had a magnificent three part story. First one being my favorite, second one being realistic, and third one being the best. These two characters Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Deply) have been a twenty-three year story in these films. Throughout it I have fallen in love with them and in love with the movies. In “Before Midnight” like the others it doesn’t fail to present dialogue. My favorite thing about these films is that the two main actor/actress co-wrote the screenplays which gets them in character and provides a tremendous amount of interesting dialogue. The long scenes with walking and talking have so much skill and work put in. They have to memorize so many things to say without doing jump-cuts or transitioning angles. These things really make you appreciate the storyline.
“Before Midnight” continues the story by showing Jesse and Céline together in Europe raising twins. Jesse who has become a successful writer takes Céline on walks, to lunch, and to a hotel. Throughout this basic story they converse about the past, the present, and future things in their relationship then leading to faults in their relationship. Bringing everything down to decisions.
I truly adore this film and can not recommend it enough. The only way you won’t like it is if you don’t like realistic, story-filled, and some-what slow films. If that’s the case then this film is not for you. Some people just can’t handle those type of films. If that doesn’t apply to you then go back to “Sunrise” and “Sunset” then watch the phenomenal ending to the “Before” trilogy. It’s not so concluding and I could see how some may be disappointed, but overall it continues the story then ends it at a point where there isn’t really anything to question. I loves this film as much as the others. If you get the chance give the other two a look if you haven’t seem them. This one is a definite must. Please say yes to my review I’d really appreciate it, thanks!