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Before Midnight (2013)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  14 June 2013 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 78,041 users   Metascore: 94/100
Reviews: 256 user | 398 critic | 41 from Metacritic.com

We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 23 wins & 46 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Hank
Jennifer Prior ...
Ella
Charlotte Prior ...
Nina
Xenia Kalogeropoulou ...
Natalia
Walter Lassally ...
Patrick
...
...
Achilleas (as Yannis Papadopoulos)
...
Ariadni
Panos Koronis ...
Enrico Focardi ...
Child
Manolis Goussias ...
Child
Anouk Servera ...
Child
Yota Argyropoulou ...
Hotel Clerk
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Storyline

It has been nine years since we last met Jesse and Celine, the French-American couple who once met on a train in Vienna. They now live in Paris with twin daughters, but have spent a summer in Greece on the invitation of an author colleague of Jesse's. When the vacation is over and Jesse must send his teenage son off to the States, he begins to question his life decisions, and his relationship with Celine is at risk. Written by Peter Brandt Nielsen

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content/nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

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Release Date:

14 June 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Before Sunset Sequel  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$246,914 (USA) (24 May 2013)

Gross:

$8,114,507 (USA) (1 November 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the movie features naturalistic dialogue, every scene was heavily rehearsed, rigidly followed the script and involved no improvisation. See more »

Goofs

During dinner Ariadni is taking photo of Celine and Jesse and we can hear two snaps of shutter in a row but the camera is Leica M6, which has to be wound on after each shot. See more »

Quotes

Jesse: If you want love, then this is it. This is real life. It's not perfect but it's real.
See more »

Connections

Follows Before Sunrise (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

O Antonis O Kekes
Music & Lyrics by Nikos Kalogeropoulos
Performed by Nikos Kalogeropoulos
From the CD 'Alogomyges'
Courtesy of Nikos Kalogeropoulos
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The three films together are stunning! But this is the least of them
15 November 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Before Midnight (2013)

The most interesting facet to this slim movie is that it continues the singular predecessors with such glowing continuity. Most people know that Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke started their conversational fictional companionship on film with "Before Sunrise" and then continued it with "Before Sunset." The first of these was shot in 1995, and the next followup was nine years later, and then this new one, nine years more.

If you saw (and liked) the first two films as I did, this continuance alone makes "Before Midnight" worth checking out. And if there is a huge deadening flaw here it is simply that the continuing continues so expectedly. There are times here when this couple—which has been living together for nearly a decade—talk as though they are on that first date in 1995. It's not that they don't know certain things about each other, but more that they are talking about things as if for the first time--and they are such common things. Surely they've gotten around to some of this stuff before. It's not endlessly revelatory.

The director of all three films is Richard Linklater, and he absolutely gets a lot of the credit for an easy, almost languid style. Some would call it boring—all talk and walk, nothing much to watch. But it isn't boring. The first movie for sure is the most fresh (it was the first one), but the second keeps things really interesting because the two leads (Jesse and Celine) are meeting up again after a huge gap, and it's an odd and unpredictable situation. By 2013 things have fundamentally solidified. They are a happy couple with twin girls, living in France. The day proceeds with conversation, and we listen closely (there is nothing else to do), but in fact there is nothing to be surprised or even curious about.

So the words become so critical they can't help but fail. A long dinner conversation with a group of educated friends is fast paced and filled with clever banter, but it goes nowhere. Yes, you absolutely wish you were there (and maybe that you had such friends—that would depend). But what is said is not so wonderful after all. It's just a mood of warm, lively companionship.

Likewise elsewhere. It's all fun and clever. When they squabble a bit it never seems remotely possible that the fight is for real, or that the incredible ease and love shown earlier in the movie would unravel with a slight ill wind. The very last scene confirms, and is oddly wan.

So—a mixed bag. I truly think if you haven't seen these films you might find the style and the remarkable believability (at times) really special. It is. But for me it was more special and more interesting as a story in the earlier movies. This one can now not be separated from those, however, and the great whole, a trilogy with a possibility of more to come, is a special and worthy part of contemporary cinema. Start somewhere and see what this is all about.


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