Sunday, July 7, 2013

Before Midnight (Rhoades)

“Before Midnight”
Is Part Three of
A Relationship

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Don’t you feel like you know them -- Jesse and Celine? After all, you first met them back in 1995 in in Richard Linklater’s film “Before Sunrise.” You remember, the one where a young American guy bumps into a young French woman on a train and they get off in Vienna, and spend the night walking around, talking about life and love.
Not much happens in this minimalist film, but you’ve never been so entranced by a conversation since you had dinner with Andre.
Ethan Hawke is memorable as Jesse and Julie Delpy is perfect as Celine. He the cynic who’s really a romantic underneath that thinly disguised exterior; she the romantic who fears her feelings. We fall in love along with them, but accept the bittersweet ending where they go their separate ways, vowing to meet again in six months.
Of course they won’t.
Being the world’s most patient director, Linklater picked up the story again nine years later, when his 2004 film “Before Sunset” reunited the couple. Now a bestselling novelist, Jesse is doing a reading at a bookstore in Paris when guess who shows up in the audience ... so they briefly reunite while waiting for his plane home.
Since their first meeting Jesse has married and has a son; Celine has a boyfriend. Neither is particularly satisfied. That old spark is still there between them. Celine imitates a Nina Simone song, saying, “Baby … you are gonna miss that plane.”
He does.
That’s where this third movie, made nine years after the second one, picks up.
“Before Midnight” is currently playing at the Tropic Cinema.
Here, we meet Jesse and Celine -- now together, the parents of twins. Having spent the summer on the Greek Peloponnese with Jesse’s son from his first marriage, the couple picks up their ongoing conversation. He’s still a successful novelist; she’s at a career crossroads. Friends treat them to a hotel room to give them time alone, to talk. They do.
Will the relationship last? Will we get another sequel in nine years? Do we feel like we’ve been part of a long relationship? Do we better understand about life and love?
You go see it and decide. Better still, take someone you care about. The two of you can talk about it afterwards.

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