CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

2013 "Before Midnight"

**Before Midnight** is a film that was 18 years in the making. In 1994 actors Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and director Richard Linklater collaberated on an art house movie titled **Before Sunrise.** Filmed on the streets of Vienna, this plotless movie featured Jessie (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy) talking about the meaning of life. Nine years later, Hawk, Delpy and Linklater reunited **Before Sunset.** Shot in real time, this 80 minute motion picture reveal Jessie and Celine in their thirties. This time they roam the streets of Paris, this time the two talk about regrets. Both movies ask the question, will Celine and Jessie get together?

**Before Midnight** presents the morning after. Now in their forties, Jessie suffers from a father's guilt, while Celine feels like she has betrayed her career aspirations by becoming a mother. The couple have spent the summer in a writer's retreat on a Greek Archiplelago. When the host family agree to babysit the children, Jessie and Celine are given one night of intimacy.

For the first two thirds of the movie, **Before Midnight** seems to be repeating the formula of the first two movies. However things change for the worse when the two arrive in their claustophobic hotel room. What was once cute volleys and flirtations, now becomes ugly and abusive.

To Hawke, Delpy and Linklater's credit, **Before Midnight** is a truthful movie. The three dig into their own personal barnacles and let them scrape each other. The fight in the hotel room is not comfortable to watch, but it does feel like a logical extension from that one night in Vienna 18 years ago.
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