Before Midnight is the final film in Richard Linklater's acclaimed trilogy which follows the exploits of Jesse and Celine. Taking place nine years after its predecessor, Before Sunset, we find Jesse and Celine on vacation in Greece with their twin daughters. We learn that they are now very much a couple, with Jesse separating from his wife. While they seem to be a happy couple, the external forces of growing old and selfishness threaten to pull them apart. Richard Linklater's Before Midnight feels more mature than its predecessors, dissecting the ideas of love, while exploring all sorts of interesting themes and dynamics. By now Linklater has such a strong understanding of these characters to the point that the dialogue feels incredibly organic, flowing freely almost like a poem. Linklater's direction is simplistic but assured, with long stretches of the film consisting of a single static frame. This doesn't make it any less engaging, with Linklater clearly understanding that these two character's interactions are all that truly matters. Similar to some of Godard's intellectual banter, Before Midnight has tons of interesting discussions throughout its running time touching on feminism vs. masculinity, the ever-increasing role of technology in our society, and individuality, among others. Before Midnight's most important statement lies in its dissection of love being not something magical like a fairytale but something that must continuously be worked at. Linklater seems to almost suggest that people are selfish individuals by nature (I agree), and this selfishness of humanity can only be beaten by one's compassion for another individual being greater. I can totally understand how something like this may sound boring to some, but Before Midnight is actually one of the funniest movies of the year. The whole last act of the film which finds Jessie and Celine at odds with each other is as comedic as it is profound. Richard Linklater's Before Midnight is the perfect end-cap to this beautiful trilogy, being not only the most mature but the funniest of the three films.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.