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
Before Midnight- A Logical and Equally Emotional Continuation of the Romantic Saga that is Uncomfortably Truthful and Painfully Heartfelt
Despite what idealized viewers might think when it comes to their beloved romance films there are numerous events and circumstances that can occur outside the frame that could strengthen, fracture, or challenge that particular relationship beyond the assumed happily ever after conclusion. This idea behind continued uncertainty is essentially called life and though the realist perspective might damage some optimist hopes there is a genuine beauty to the wonderful truth that is a relationship that cultivates or fissures in the face life's challenges. Eclectic filmmaker Richard Linklater, known for such diverse films such as his debut indie feature Slacker and his wide appeal comedy School of Rock, understood the idea of life beyond the ending credits once he reintroduced his two romantic leads Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) with a chance encounter in Before Sunset after their initial meeting nine years earlier in Before Sunrise. Before Midnight, the latest chapter of this ingenious film series, offers the creative staples that the romantic saga is known for with Linklater's consistently delicate observational style, Hawke and Delpy's engaged performances, philosophical witty banter relating to relationships, life, and more but this time unfolding the details of a relationship that has marinated beyond its initial romantic beginnings and changed into something far more palpable, strained, and relatable. The collaborative writing between Linklater, Hawke, and Delpy demonstrates their immense understanding of their created characters and deliver their most uncomfortably emotional and richly life-affirming vignette in this particular reflective road stop in the lives of Jesse and Celine. When poet John Keats wrote the famous last line "truth is beauty, beauty truth" in his poem "An Ode to a Grecian Urn" he realized that even the most unpleasant truths had intense beauty in its mere recognized existence and the Before saga is one of the purest cinematic exercises in revealing that kind of beautiful truth. Before Midnight takes the initially romantic setups in Before Sunrise and Before Sunset and expands them into their most logical and equally emotional prolongation where it expands the narrative strength, character vivacity, and philosophical importance of the series into a fully realized and painfully heartfelt whole that speaks uncomfortable truths in an engagingly entertaining way.
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