Before Midnight

2013

Drama / Romance

307
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 98%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 82%
IMDb Rating 8.0

Synopsis


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October 4, 2013 at 11:41 pm

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English
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23.976 fps
1hr 49 min
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1.65 GB
1920*1040
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 49 min
P/S 21 / 257

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Jordan Murphy 9 / 10

True breath of fresh air in a time full of poorly-written movies and cheap special effects

First and foremost, this is not your typical mainstream summer movie. However, if you're reading this, then I'm sure you've already seen the two preceding films, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. If you have, then you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. This movie is driven by the characters and their dialog. No fancy special effects, no elaborate sets, no uber-popular actors to stuff in the movie to make people watch it. Just great dialog from two excellent actors.

Now that that's out of the way, I was a little uninterested when hearing about this movie, that it was filmed in Greece. However, after seeing the film tonight, I find that the setting was quite lovely and really had little to do with the movie itself. The movie was more about how these two main characters are dealing with getting older and being parents, and how over time, your opinions about things and about each other can change.

One thing I've always liked about these movies is the gritty realism of the two characters. Being an American myself, and previously having a French girlfriend (and living in France), I can totally relate to the two characters and the idiosyncrasies that are attributed to both of them in this story of their lives.

This movie was, once again, a model example of good dialog and great characters! I was very happy to see this movie, and I'm glad to see the writers haven't lost their touch. This movie was written by not only the director, but also the two main actors, and this series is really their "baby" - you can tell much love and care went into these films, even though they are all shot very quickly and with a small budget. I love how there are very few cuts in most of the scenes, and you can tell that everything about this movie was simple. This is a true breath of fresh air in time full of poorly-written movies and cheap special effects.

Reviewed by flydocfly 10 / 10

Third time's a Charm!

I just saw this amazing movie at its Sundance premiere. It's wonderful on so many levels I don't know where to start. The performances are fantastic. If Julie Delpy doesn't get an Oscar nomination it would be a shame (the only stupider thing the Academy could do is have 10 best picture nominations.) Ethan Hawke's performance is brilliant in its own way, however, it's a less showy part and I'm not certain it'll get the recognition it deserves.

The writing is astounding. Sharp, intelligent, biting, humorous, with staggering subtext, but most importantly--it feels real. If the screenplay doesn't get an Oscar nomination it would be a shame (the only thing stupider the Academy could do is have 15 best picture nominations.)

Rick Linklater is now officially the Jedi master of indie filmmaking (Yoda Soderbergh actually said he's giving up filmmaking.) SLACKERS was only 22 years ago, and Linklater has matured into one of the most original filmic storytellers in the history of the medium. 95% of the movie is two-shots of people talking (the other 5% is people talking at a dinner table and cut aways to the gorgeous Greek landscape.) I don't know any other living filmmaker who could pull this off. There's a one-take during a car drive that lasts probably ten minutes (before a brief cut away), however, it goes on for probably another ten minutes (and Linklater said he could have kept the whole take, but needed to show ruins along the country side and cut away for script purposes, not performance.) There's a 30 minute scene of the two actors in a hotel room and I didn't even notice it (by that time I was so invested in the characters and their actions and emotions I wasn't even aware of time, it wasn't until the post screening Q&A that Linklater mentioned the actual time of the scene.)

All three, Linklater, Delpy, and Hawke have matured into their rolls (writing, directing, acting) so easily that it's all just great fun for them and the audience. This is a must see for many reasons (including the history of film--there's only one other modern trilogy where the final film is the best--LOTR, and their food budget was probably more than the total cost of BEFORE MIDNIGHT.)

i could go on gushing about this movie ad nauseum, however I'll finish by saying that BEFORE MIDNIGHT is what indie film making (and the Sundance Film Festival) is all about--truly original, creative, unique, interesting characters and their stories, told outside the Hollywood system, by people passionate about their craft (and in this case at the top of their craft).

Reviewed by Clayton Davis (Claytondavis@awardscircuit.com) 10 / 10

Before Midnight is a Masterpiece (****)

Before Midnight is a different type of animal this time around. I didn't expect the team could top an already beautiful story but what they achieve in the newest installment is the most accurate and authentic portrayals of love since Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). The film is an absolute marvel, showcasing the very best dialogue and capturing the sheer essence of acting brilliance from stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. Director Richard Linklater has also created the crowning work of his directorial career, showing incredible restraint and focus on two characters that still feel just as new and fresh as the day we met them. The film opens with a near fifteen minute take that gets its hook into you and never lets up. It's a cinematic sensation.

Midnight takes place nine years after the events of Sunset. Jesse and Celine are still together and have managed to have twin girls, Nina and Ella, and are living in Europe. The film takes place at the tail end of a six-week vacation in Greece where Jesse has just dropped off his thirteen-year-old son Hank, from his previous marriage, at the airport for his return back to Chicago. Realizing that he's missing the formative years of Hank's teenage life, Jesse and Celine explore the option of possibly making a move to America, leaving opportunities and a life in Europe behind.

This film is easily the best film of the franchise so far. Packing an emotional and euphoric punch like third-installments like Toy Story 3 (2010) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), films that have a close-nit relation to their predecessors but saving all the masterful speeches and epiphanies for the viewer to indulge in their finales. Obviously there's no big fantasy battle or a near death experience in an incinerator for the meaning of life to be physically explained but in the power of words, and words alone, Before Midnight manages to become the poster child for screen writing and brilliant storytelling for years to come. The film doesn't take any cheap shots with every scene constructed from real emotion and feeling incredibly authentic and genuine. There are long takes for the viewer to be present whether it's in an airport conversation between Jesse and Hank or at a lunch with in the beautiful valleys of Greece or even in a hotel room where a man and a woman share intimacy like older lovers typically do.

Ethan Hawke is an actor that never quite caught onto the awards circuit for some odd reason. Nominated for his performance alongside Denzel Washington in Training Day (2001), Hawke has shown tremendous range throughout his career including missed opportunities for recognition in Sidney Lumet's Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007). As Jesse this time around, Hawke uses every ounce of magnetism, charisma, and acting ability to bring himself to the levels of legendary actors like Daniel Day-Lewis and Marlon Brando. He becomes a man all too familiar to the male viewer and ignites the film into a spectacular frenzy of passion. Hawke isn't afraid to show the inner turmoil of Jesse as the growing cancer of guilt has come to the surface. He works moment after moment in expressing the bewildering beauty of love at the expense of one's own values and sacrifice. He's almost the distant, and utterly toned down, cousin of Freddie Quell from Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master (2012), a man so complex but inserted with terrific character beats and an actor willing to commit entirely to the craft to portray him flawlessly. Hawke surpasses not only his past features but the very being of himself as an actor. It's his finest turn yet.

Julie Delpy is as imaginative and magnetic as ever. She's a wonderful presence, often very skillful example of acting on the finest level. She executes the pure feelings of uncertainty in conjuncture with the script which is a clear and marvelous character study on love. She's wildly immersed into Celine, accomplishing not only a somewhat free- spirited damaged woman but a sex appeal that triggers any person's romantic desires. She's an effortless existence in the film, which makes Celine not only explicitly real, but tenderly and mysteriously loving for the viewer. It's a performance that defines her abilities as an actress and one that will be remembered fifty years from now as we all think back on the amazement of Julie Delpy.

The film is breathtakingly accurate and precise in capturing the love and relationship of couples, it will and should be studied by film schools and writers for years to come. Linklater bares his soul, frame after frame, showing confidence of his own idiosyncratic vision of this story and being as accessible to even the youngest of people. This is Linklater's most personal tribute to the scope of cinema and will be his defining moment on the silver screen. The film is a must-see and is the first masterpiece that 2013 has to offer. Before Midnight is an instant Oscar-contender and a triumph in filmmaking. It's the go-to film of the Tribeca Film Festival and the best picture of the year so far.

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