Movie Review: Before Midnight (2013)


Title: Before Midnight
Release Date: May 24, 2013
Director: Richard Linklater
Production Company: Castle Rock Entertainment | Venture Forth | Detour Filmproduction
Summary/Review:

Another 9 years have passed and Céline (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) are spending the summer vacationing in Greece with friends and family, including their twin daughters and Jesse’s son from his previous marriage. Breaking with precedent of the previous films, in the first act of the film we see a lot of Céline and Jesse in group settings rather than one on one.  We also get to see that Ethan Hawke as a dad in Before Midnight is a whole lot like Ethan Hawke as a dad in in Boyhood.

Also breaking with precedent, the heart of the movie leaves behind the beautiful Greek scenery and instead is set in a nondescript hotel room.  Putatively Céline and Jesse are too spend a romantic night together there without the children, but instead it becomes the scene of a bitter argument. Jesse wants to be more involved in his son’s life, but it would require moving to the United States.  Céline is resentful that she’s been forced to take on domestic responsibilities at the expense of her career.  As they unravel their feelings they begin to contend with the idea that they may no longer be in love.

As with the previous movies the dialogue is excellent and Hawke and Delpy really live inside their characters.  Hawke is so good at playing a guy who is kind of an asshole yet remains sympathetic.  This heartfelt and heartbreaking movie is apparently the last we will see of this couple. If the 9 year pattern persisted the fourth movie would be released this year, but alas there will be no B4: Tokyo Drift or anything like that.

Rating: ****