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Nearly 20 years after they first won audiences’ hearts during their night in Vienna in Before Sunrise and 10 years after their Parisian reunion in Before Sunset, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy) are now in their early forties, married, parents to twin girls, and have decisively passed from youthful infatuation to enervated middle-aged couplehood. Catching them at the tail end of a Greek vacation, Before Midnight patiently observes as the duo struggles to maintain the dying embers of romance in the face of everyday problems, the demands of parenting, and a painful store of built-up anger and resentment against each other. Marked by the emotional depth, piercing wit, and conversational exuberance that Linklater and his actors honed over two decades with these characters, Before Midnight grapples poignantly with the complexities of long-term intimacy and—one of the director’s greatest subjects—the inexorable flow of time. Earning his second Oscar nomination for Best Adapted screenplay alongside co-writers Hawke and Delpy, Richard Linklater fashions a beautifully bittersweet conclusion to his much-loved triptych.
Director Richard Linklater | 2013 | In English and Greek and French with English subtitles | 109 minutes | R (for sexual content/nudity and language) | Blu-ray