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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