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Almost two decades have passed since Jesse and Celine's first meeting on a train bound for Vienna, and we now find them nine years on in their early 40's in Greece. Before the clock strikes midnight, we will again become part of their story.
Drama Comedy Romantic - Like the first two films in the series, this is pretty much a
two-character talk fest between stars/co-writers Ethan Hawke and
Julie Delpy, but there are some surprises here, mainly in the tone of
conversation. Instead of being largely romantic as in the first two
films, there is much more of a dark comic edge this time around.
Language, adult subject matter, and a sex scene make the film
inappropriate for kids.
PROFANITY: Well over 30 F-words; 25 S-words; many others. SEX/NUDITY: A sex scene with related nudity. VIOLENCE: None. DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Some alcohol and tobacco. ACTION: None. COMEDY: Verbal humor, often suggestive and dark.
Berardinelli, Internet CriticFull Review Excellent There's nothing wrong with escapism; I love many escapist motion pictures. But it's a rare and powerful thing to confront something honest and real on the big screen. It stays with you in a way that nothing else can. Before Midnight is fiction but it might as well be a documentary.
NY PostFull Review Excellent The labor of pairing off is a classic theme for a movie, with a comforting finish when love triumphs. But finding romance is easy. Staying together is hard. Making a movie this warm, funny, and rigorously truthful about lovers trying to remain partners is even harder.
Note: The rating
above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.
An American father, JESSE, (Ethan Hawke) is seeing off his son HANK (Seamus
Davey-Fitzpatrick) at the Kalamata Airport in Greece. Hank's returning to his
mother and life in the U.S. after spending the "best summer ever" with Jesse and his
family. The middle-schooler is more composed than his fortyish father, who hovers
anxiously as their separation draws near.
Geography weighs heavily on Jesse. Outside the airport, he rejoins his family:
CELINE (Julie Delpy) and their young twin daughters ELLA and NINA (Jennifer and
Charlotte Prior). As they drive through the austerely beautiful rocky hillsides of
Messinia, Jesse and Celine talk -- about living so far from Hank, about her career as
an environmentalist and hopes for a new job, about the swirl of ancient and modern
Greece around them. Jesse hints at wanting to move back to America from their
home in Paris, but Celine has done her U.S. time -- they lived in New York for a
spell -- and has no wish to return. Their long history together bubbles between
Jesse's a successful novelist, and they're in Greece at a writer's retreat, staying in the
bucolic country villa of an older expat writer, PATRICK (Walter Lassally). Jesse's
given to flights of creative fancy which charm the assembled company, warmly
hospitable Greek couples, but Celine -- whose own past has played a starring role in
Jesse's semi-autobiographical novels -- is perhaps a bit weary of serving as alluring
French muse to Jesse's fiction career.
As a treat, their Greek friends have gifted Jesse and Celine with a night at a luxurious
seaside hotel while they babysit the twins. Feeling the undercurrent of friction
between them, Celine wants to beg off, but their friends insist. They set off on foot
through the spectacular countryside, meandering through meadows and villages,
enjoying each others' company, talking, teasing, debating, flirting.
What does a longterm couple do in a sleek hotel room besides throw off their
worries, responsibilities, and clothes and make love? But for Jesse and Celine,
realities intrude: the weight of children, work, ambitions, disappointments; the ebb
and flow of romantic love ; the strains of an evolving, deepening relationship. Their
idyllic night tests them in unexpected ways.
Jesse and Celine first met in their twenties in BEFORE SUNRISE (1995), reunited in
their thirties in BEFORE SUNSET (2004), and now, in BEFORE MIDNIGHT, they face
the past, present and future; family, romance, and love. Before the clock strikes
midnight, their story again unfolds.