Director: Richard Linklater
Actors: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy
Before Midnight is the third part of a magnificent cinema-story that started almost 20 years ago, in 1994. Director Richard Linklater, known for his films taking place within a single day, continues the story of Jesse and Celine, played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delphy. Jessy and Celine, both in their early twenties back then, met on the train to Vienna in 1994. They hit it off immediately and decided to get off the train in Vienna where they wander around and spent a romantic night together. The following morning their ways part, without exchanging phone numbers or addresses, but with the promise to meet each other again 6 months later. That’s where Before Sunrise, the first part of this trilogy, ends. Leaving us guessing about if they really met up again or not.
Nine years later, the answer to this question was finally given in Before Sunset (2003). Jesse returns to Europe to promote his first novel, a modest bestseller, based on a romantic night he once spent with a young parisienne in Vienna… On his book-tour Jesse also makes a stop in a small bookstore in Paris. Where, of course, Celine shows up and they once again spend a few hours together before Jesse has to catch another plane home. Before Sunset ends on an ambiguous note with Jesse ending up in Celine’s apartment, postponing his ride back to the airport over and over again. Will he get back back to his unhappy family life in The States or will he choose to miss his plane this time?
We were made to wait another 9 years to know what happened. In Before Midnight (2013), Jesse and Celine are in their early forties and are finally living together. Better yet, they have 7 year old twin girls together.The romance and magic of meeting, missing and wondering about one another have been replaced by the every day life of any family and their struggles. Nevertheless, this 3rd part is my favorite.
Basically, all three movies consist of nothing else than these two talking. Talking about small things, big life events,…anything really, without ever getting boring. These movies aren’t part of some cheap romance franchise. To be honest, i could easily listen to these two talking for hours and hours. The conversations are natural, real and recognizable on every level.