Movie Review #438: Before Midnight

I have a new number one this 2013

Life is imperfect, and so is love. In Before Midnight we’re introduced to a point in Jesse (Hawke) and Celine’s (Delpy) relationship where it’s most imperfect, most difficult and most challenged. It’s one hell of a culmination of the past three films and while it’s hard to separate the previous from the third, in terms of the maturity and realism of the story I think this is the best one they’ve made.

There are still scenes that refer back to the past such as the long, one-take shot of the two leads just walking while talking to get to where they’re going. A lot are even embedded in the two’s conversations where they talk about their first meet-up in the summer of ’95 and how things could’ve been different since then. However there are other digressions, most notably the inclusion of minor characters that spend some extra minutes on screen than usual. The first one shows up at the start in the form of Jesse’s son Hank (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick), while the others arrive in the middle of the film where a discussion about love from different perspectives is taking place at a dining table. It’s a wonderful commentary on life, romance, and technology and is something I would want to keep in mind.

There are important elements and turning points I would love to mention, but in doing so I would be ruining the experience of people who have yet to explore the trilogy. Just remember that we are imperfect human beings and the things we do are often spontaneous and unpredictable. So whatever conflicts or arguments to be found in here, it’s only a reflection of a realistic and imperfect love story that the movie tries so very hard to capture.

Impeccably well-written and filled with thought-provoking dialogue, Before Midnight is a fantastic piece of cinema that I would gladly revisit again. And that’s quite a rare thing for me to do. It’s the best film I’ve seen so far this year, and it would be a shame if it is left unnoticed.

GRADE: A

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