So I just finished watching Before Midnight, the final installment of Linklater’s romance trilogy…
Before Midnight takes place 9 years after the events of Before Sunset, with Jesse and Celine now married with two daughters, as well as limited custody of Jesse’s son. During a vacation to Greece, many of the problems Jesse and Celine have been having over the years come to ahead, and Jesse must try to make up with Celine before all is lost.
Absolutely stunning conclusion to this trilogy. A heartfelt musing on marriage and long term relationships.
Brilliant script, great characters and performances (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delphy once again let sparks fly as Jesse and Celine), good cinematography and editing, great score, etc.
The script for this film is much like a strong piece of music. It sets up all its ideas, and it builds upon them, and builds upon them, until it reaches this magnificent, rising crescendo. The crescendo in this case being a massive argument between Jesse and Celine. The script built to this perfectly, and coupled this with the brilliant acting, it made for something special.
There’s this one moment during the meal scene with all the characters, and Celine is talking about the issue with her job and Jesse’s son, and Jesse looked unironically agitated that she would even bring this up. It’s one of many moments of this subtle foreshadowing and I love it.
Overall, this is another magnificent display of writing and acting. A beautiful ending to a heartwarming, realistic, and passionate story of love and its ability to transcend time and place. It isn’t the masterpiece that Sunrise was, but this film is a close second. Watch it.
10 out of 10