Film of the Day (08/09/18): Before Midnight

 

Written By Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy and Richard Linklater
Directed By Richard Linklater

Of all three movies in the Before trilogy, this one is the most realistic, and possibly the best for it. After the ending of Before Sunset, audiences that had fallen for Jesse and Celine the way they fell for each other had to know: did he miss his flight? If so, where would their lives be after such a pivotal moment? How would they have grown together? Could they have grown apart? The raw truth that this film is digging at speaks to the idea of romanticizing romance itself. Love is beautiful and ugly, wonderful and difficult, heartwarming and heartbreaking. Anyone who has been in a long term relationship can attest to the concepts here, even if they didn’t meet their significant other on a train in Europe. It just…works. Everything comes together to compliment everything else. There are multiple very long scenes of dialogue that were very impressive, from the blocking to the editing to the natural chemistry of the actors that helps you get as lost in the story as they are lost in middle age. Its charming, mesmerizing, and most importantly real. While the gorgeous Greek scenery is painting a vivid picture of our perception of romance, the characters are working together to paint a more grounded one, where resentment can fester over time and forgiveness can be a reluctant concept. Midnight marks the end of something and the beginning of something else, which is not only a perfect metaphor for the character arc, but gives the ambiguous hint of a possible fourth installment (which would come in 2022 if they followed the same increments). But if this is the last we see of Jesse and Celine, I am okay with that, because I don’t think their story ends in Greece, even if I will never truly know. Because with true love…how can you ever really know? This is an absolutely delightful film, and although it is realistically the collective work of a trio, it is one of Linklater’s best films.

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