2013 / Director. Richard Linklater.
The story of Celine and Jesse is evolving nicely. Perhaps not so much for the characters themselves but definitely for us movie-goers. BEFORE MIDNIGHT is the 3rd instalment of what is hopefully an ongoing series. They met in 1994's BEFORE SUNRISE and reunited in 2004's BEFORE SUNSET and now another 9 years have past and we catch up with them in Greece where they are on vacation with their family. Things are shaky between the two with each of them grasping different ideals and expectations. We know that their relationship has always been a tumultuous one and now it's more fractured than it's ever been. The film follows the familiar formula of both of them interacting in a series of lengthy conversations and now they've got children factoring into their life. The script is amazing. Richard Linklater, Julie Deply and Ethan Hawke are 100% invested in these characters and their attention to detail and their understanding of character traits as well as the tiniest nuances is beautiful. The story unfolds so naturally and you feel like you're catching up with old friends. Time has changed them and yet in many ways they are the same two young lovers we met all those years ago. They're complicated human beings and the conflict between them is stirring. Whether you identify with Celine or you identify with Jesse, the emotional journey they travel will definitely resonate with you in one way or another. What I love about these films is the honesty and the disregard for the audience's finer feelings. Celine and Jesse's life isn't a fairy tale and doesn't meet the requirements that the average viewer might demand. You have to commit yourself to these characters or else it's a waste of time. Do I want them to be happy? Yes. Do I like that they're struggling? No.... they feel like friends and its horrible to see their turmoil.... AND I LOVE IT! BEFORE MIDNIGHT is easily the strongest of the 3 films but BEFORE SUNSET (2) is still my favourite. What will become of them in another 9 years time?