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
Dedicated to the memory of Amy Lehrhaupt, the woman who was the inspiration for Before Sunrise (1995). Richard Linklater had spent a night walking and talking around Philadelphia with her in 1989. Though initially they stayed in touch over the telephone, they lost contact eventually. In 1994, Linklater started shooting "Before Sunrise" and when the world premiere was about to take place, Linklater was secretly hoping that Amy would show up but she did not. Ten years later, Linklater shot the sequel Before Sunset (2004) and had yet to hear from Amy. Finally, in 2010, a friend of Amy's who knew about their story, contacted Linklater to tell him that Amy had died in a motorcycle accident on May 9, 1994 at the age of 24 and even a few weeks before he started shooting Before Sunrise (1995). Both Linklater and Hawke were devastated but found comfort in the inspiration for the Before Trilogy. See more »
Jesse doesn't calculate their ages correctly. During the walk to the hotel, they discuss that Jesse is now 41 years old. A few minutes later Celine calculates that they have to be together another 56 years to match Jesse's grandparents relationship, and Jesse states they will be 98 years old by then. 56 plus 41 is 97, not 98. See more »
I am giving you my whole life ok? I got nothing larger to give, I'm not giving it to anybody else. If you're looking for permission to disqualify me, I'm not gonna give it to you. Ok? I love you. And I'm not in conflict about it. Okay? But if what you want is like a laundry list of all the things that piss me off, I can give it to you.
Yeah, I want to hear.
Okay well, number 1, you're fucking nuts! You are. Good luck! Find somebody else to put up with your shit for more than like 6 months okay?...
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Two Hours of Talk, Talk, Talk... and Absolutely Enthralling...
The 56th San Francisco International came to a close at the magnificent Castro Theatre with a showing of Richard Linklater's "Before Midnight", the third in Linklater's series of "Before " films. Preceded by "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset", the film continues the story of Jesse and Celine, now a middle-aged, two child couple on vacation in Greece. Things are not quite right between the two, and there is much to be said between them. So they talk. For two hours. And it is absolutely enthralling.
I have to admit that I haven't seen the first two films. I was aware of them, but they just never jumped out at me as something I had to see. I admire Linklater's work ( I thought last year's "Bernie" was one of the best films of the year) but just never had a reason to put seeing those films above others I had more interest in. I attended the screening mainly because it was the closing night film, but had concerns that not having seen the previous two would put me at a disadvantage in appreciating his latest. Festival friend (and "Before " series lover) Stacy McCarthy assured me the film stands on its own.
She was right. Nothing much goes on in this film but conversations between people, but these conversations are fascinating and have a sense of reality about them often missing from films of this nature. Credit for that obviously goes to director Linklater and actors Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, who collaborated on the script. It doesn't hurt that the film was shot in Greece, but the picturesque beauty of that country comes second to the riveting portrayal of a couple at the stage of life where the often painful questioning of a couple's future begins.
Two hours with these characters flew by, and as the credits rolled my first thoughts were about how much I really liked the film, and how I need to think more "out of the box" when it comes to selecting films to view. I'm guilty of often limiting my scope, and I'm thankful that Film Festivals force me to widen my film horizons.
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