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
The bottle of wine the characters open in their hotel room is "1827" from Navarino Vineyards. While indeed a Peloponnesian wine, both 18 & 27 are multiples of 9, an allusion to the years between films. See more »
When Jesse and Céline are in the hotel room arguing at a table, the camera operator is reflected in the framed picture on the wall. See more »
Before Midnight is the third of three movies, shot about a decade apart each, starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy as lovers with a very push-pull dynamic. It's not necessary to see the first two movies to follow Before Midnight. The movie features long takes (sometimes not cutting for 10 minutes at a time) the story takes place over a day, and dialogue and naturalistic acting are paramount. There's a complexity to their characters and relationship that refuses to fully romanticize or demonize them. It's something of a realist romance in (deliberate) contrast the beautiful settings. Careful viewers will notice a handful of ironies that ground the romance in reality. I won't give examples here, or go into the details that keep me from giving this a 9 or 10 as many critics do. The movie is the proverbial breath of fresh air, though. I'd say that the main weakness of the movie stems from its strengths, in that when artists set out to make something so true to human nature (as opposed to fluffier rom coms or Nicholas Sparks movies) it's easy to hear the (few) false notes that are played. There are very few; and unless you're jonesing for a mere-nonsense 'entertainment' movie, this movie should appeal to practically anyone.
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