“Before Midnight” is the Latest Instalment in this Captivating Saga.

Before Midnight.

Before Midnight.

Midnight is the third (so far) in the series of Before films that Richard Linklater has made with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. Before Sunrise introduced us to the pair of barely 20 year olds who fell madly in love over an evening in Vienna, before being forced to part the following morning.

10 years later they meet again in Paris in Before Sunset. And once again, if more quietly now, sparks fly. Before Midnight visits them ten years on, in their early 40s. After Paris, Jesse left his wife and son, and he and Celine have been together ever since. And this finds them on the last night of their summer holiday in Greece where they’ve been with their twins.

Although the scripts are carefully and precisely written, Linklater, Hawke and Delpy workshopped all three instalments extensively together. The result is a trio of films that glide along with deceptive ease. And it would be easy to miss quite how impeccably crafted and immaculately performed the three stories are.

Delpy and Hawke in Before Sunrise.

Delpy and Hawke in Before Sunrise.

Or at least it might have been in the first two. By the time we get to Before Midnight, it’s impossible not be bowled over by the depths of raw emotion on display and the sheer force of the artistry involved.

Similar in tone, approach and impact to Bergman’s greatest film, Scenes From A Marriage, this third instalment in the Before saga is not just one of the best films of the year. It’s a personal triumph for Linklater, Hawke and Delpy. And I can’t wait to find out how they’re all getting on in ten years’ time. You can see the Before Midnight trailer here.

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  1. […] now there have been three of them (to date), Sun­rise, Sun­set and Mid­night (reviewed ear­lier here), he and his actors work­shop their scenes exhaus­tively, in a sort of anti Ken Loach man­ner. […]

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