Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, 2013)
Nine years after the conclusion of Before Sunset, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy) are a couple and parents to twin girls conceived when they got together for the second time. Jesse is also struggling to maintain his relationship with his teenage son, Hank, who lives in Chicago with Jesse's ex-wife and who, after spending the summer with Jesse and Céline on the Greek Peloponnese peninsula, is being dropped off at the airport to fly home. Jesse has continued to find success as a novelist, while Céline is at a career crossroads, considering a job with the French government.
The third instalment in the Before series, kept the charm of the original films and even if it makes already nine years since the last movie quickly Céline and Jesse are starting their babbling again. This time they have been together for nine years and they are at the end of their summer in Greece. Their relationship as evolved and their discussions and thoughts are representing parents, lovers, couples, and soul mates. Again they argue, discuss, fight, and reunite with those long talks shot in long takes and in wonderful locations.
Hawke and Delpy are charming and inhabit their characters while constantly talking like as if they were in a Eric Rohmer film. Those long conversations have the quality of sounding genuine and real. Always around relationships but evolving around their family and their preoccupations of being parents and a loving couple.
Before Midnight proves that a movie just needs a solid screenplay with interesting characters and the rest will follow. In this case, Linklater didn’t needed to take too many tricks from his hat to shot this superb film that speak for itself. It felt right with the two previous films and presents timeless preoccupations just like a Yasujiro Ozu film that circles around the theme of family and in this case around the couple and the family. Linklater, Hawke, and Delpy wrote a story that reflects many of the men and women that are in a relationship and that face struggles and ups and downs. A relationship is never always the same and there will be lots of factors that will help it or broke it.
As of today Before Midnight is a strong contender for the best film of 2013 beating easily Don Jon, The Bling Ring, and American Hustle.