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BEFORE MIDNIGHT

BEFORE MIDNIGHT

The third, and possibly best, of the “Before” films; “Jesse” and “Celine” (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) no longer in the throes of love’s commencing powers, passions ignited by a glance; seasoned, in their early 40’s, with twin daughters, vacationing in Greece. Jesse’s son by his first marriage has left for Chicago; leaving an anguished, guilt-ridden, perplexed Jesse, venting to Celine, who is wresting with her own professional issues.

Jesse still sports the homeless, unshaven, unwashed look but redeems his personal scruff with his razor-sharp intellect. Self- deprecating Celine, a little thicker, but still in possession of magnificent tresses, an acerbic sense of humor, and a wit to match her partner; in essence, their stars were meant to cross and remain cemented in perpetuity.

With trepidation, fearing an onslaught of the “like” affliction, I reluctantly ventured into the third, and surprisingly wonderful, collaboration between Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. Reminiscent of Kathryn Hepburn/Spencer Tracy films of yesteryear it is a homage to “conversation”; the characters talk to each other: intensely, lovingly, bitterly, bitingly and in the process reveal their innermost foibles, regrets, pains, insecurities. Anyone who has had a long term relationship will recognize the peaks and valleys this couple describe so ardently; words that wound, soothe, heal and gift inimitable encouragement, joy, love.

A poignantly memorable moment occurs, at a sumptuous lunch, served al fresco, surrounded by the shimmering, vibrantly heated Greek landscape;  four couples, multi-generational (millennials, mid-life, octogenarians) expound on relationships: why some wither, others flourish; no definitive answers, just voluminous wisdom in the simplest spoken reflection.

The tangible, palatable chemistry between Delpy and Hawke is the force behind the realistic richness of the film; passion is tempered, but their friendship has been nurtured by life’s fires and like the strongest steel, tested, unbreakable; inevitably, after midnight, “friendship” is the tie that binds.

FOUR STARS!!!!

For Now………….Peneflix

The third, and possibly best, of the “Before” films; “Jesse” and “Celine” (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) no longer in the throes of love’s commencing powers, passions ignited by a glance; seasoned, in their early 40’s, with twin daughters, vacationing in Greece. Jesse’s son by his first marriage has left for Chicago; leaving an anguished, …

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11 comments

  1. Good review, Peneflix, although I did not like it as much as you did. Agree the best scene in the film is that lunch conversation, for me, it made the film. I found Celine disappointingly bitter, and, wanted a bit more action and less argumentation.
    Gorgeous ( although not enough) scenery of Greece.

    • So respect your observations but I understoond Celine’s angst; she desperately needed approbation that she was not going to “seed”; motherhood, professional life, diminidhed youth and beauty and they were not married; major frustrations; and who else to vent to but the one who was partially responsible for the quagmire she was in? But the trigger was a possible move to Chicago; enough to shove her over the edge! Thanks for making me think, P.

  2. barb Bluhm-Kaul

    I FOUND THIS ONE TO BE A BLEND OF MY DINNER WITH ANDRE AND WHO IS AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOLF. I GENERALLY LIKED THE FILM BUT ALAS, MY MATE WALKED OUT. ..HATING IT
    I FELT IT TOUCHED A BIT TOO CLOSE TO SOME MALE ISSUES.

  3. We thought about walking out. Only memorable line the one about Sylvia Plath and the toaster oven. Please, Julie don’t do another & for god’s sake keep your “charms”under wraps. Ethan, you should have walked, run away from this one.

  4. We saw Before Midnight and thought it was well acted and a slice of reality. Liked the message and the reference to the sunset going, going. gone. Life is not perfect and is over so fast. Try and live each day and communicate with your mate. In the end, this is all that matters

  5. Thought the acting was excelllent and the movie a slice of realality. Thought the sunset reference was a perfect analogy with life. Going, going , gone. Also communication with your mate such an important thing and so hard to do. Came away with some real food for thought.

  6. Loved this film. It was like eavesdropping on these people since it felt so real. Truly great filmaking. Want to revisit the two previous films in the trilogy

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