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Before Midnight film review

By Christopher Totten

 Richard Linklater's romantic drama Before Midnight is available on DVD and Blu-Ray Oct. 22.

photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
Richard Linklater's romantic drama Before Midnight is
available on DVD and Blu-Ray Oct. 22.

Relationships are often compared to roller-coasters, in that both have plenty of ups and downs. One minute you can be soaring from the love of another person, and the next you can be at your lowest because of that same person. The 2013 film Before Midnight encapsulates these notions of the woeful and the wonderful aspects involved in a relationship.  Before Midnight is the third film in the Before series, the previous two being 1995's Before Sunrise and 2004's Before Sunset.

Before Midnight continues the romantic journey of Jesse and Celine, who first met on a train to Vienna, and later by fate in Paris. This time, Jesse, wonderfully played by Ethan Hawke, and Celine, impeccably brought to life by native Parisian Julie Delpy, are on vacation with their twin daughters in beautiful Greece. The vacation has been great up until Jesse must say good-bye to his teenage son, who departs for his mother's house in the United States. This event seems to catalyze much of the conflict that takes place in Before Midnight.  Unlike Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, Before Midnight explores the more melancholic and bitter side that can occur in a long-term relationship. I found this focus on the breakdown of a relationship to be quite refreshing. The greatest part about "Before Midnight" is that it's a movie that stays closely relatable to actual relationships. One feels as if the on-screen events and turmoil really could happen in real life, which they do. This may be partly due to the fact that both Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy wrote a large portion of their own dialogue for the film.  

While the history of the first two films will draw you further into Before Midnight, fear not if you choose to start with this movie,  Before Midnight can be viewed as a standalone film. I also highly recommend Before Midnight to anyone that has seen the previous two films. I think that the entire trilogy is worth a viewing for its beautiful directing by Richard Linklater, marvelously written story, and magnificent acting. I am wholly surprised that Julie Delpy has not made a larger splash in American cinema. Before Midnight is slated to hit shelves Oct. 22, so make sure to pick up a copy before they disappear!

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