Autumn 2013 Features series
Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 4:00pm
Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 7:00pm
Directed by Richard Linklater
Screenplay by Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, and Richard Linklater
Starring , Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy
Rated 14A ·
French, Greek, and English
A world première at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Before Midnight is director Richard Linklater’s (Bernie, Me and Orson Welles) long-awaited follow-up to 1995’s Before Sunrise and 2004’s Before Sunset. Co-writing, once again, with his stars Ethan Hawke (The Woman in the Fifth, New York I Love You) and Julie Delpy (2 Days in New York, 2 Days in Paris), Linklater provides a resolution to Sunset’s cliffhanger ending while adding new dimensions to this beloved romantic tale that spans nearly twenty years.
When we last saw Jesse (Hawke) and Céline (Delpy), they were facing an uncertain (but promising) future in Paris. Before Midnight picks up with them nine years later. Two decades have passed since their first encounter on a Vienna-bound train, but as they now enjoy the last days of a vacation in Greece, it is evident that the chemistry between them remains fresh and their conversation lively. But for all that remains the same, they are no longer wayfaring twentysomethings but as aging Gen Xers in midlife, with all the accompanying stresses and responsibilities. Jesse and Céline have grown up, and the film’s tone has matured to match.
Linklater is at the top of his game with Before Midnight, once again building a film on the simplest of premises—a man and a woman talking—and making it glide along at a compellingly brisk clip. Hawke and Delpy, meanwhile, have achieved something unique in modern movies by writing, developing, and living with these characters for such a long period of time; their rich and complex characterizations speak to that rare devotion. Nearly twenty years on, Jesse and Céline still have plenty to talk about.
“The latest in the wonderful ‘Before’ series does three important things: It breaks out of the courtship formula, yet retains the series’ quality, and it moves the lives of Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) forward in ways that are satisfying and believable. True, a romance you once envied might now be a relationship you’d not want to be in, but as long as Celine and Jesse are still talking, there’s hope.” (Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle)
“One of the great movie romances of the modern era achieves its richest and fullest expression in Before Midnight.” (Justin Chang, Variety)