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Before Midnight
DVD disk
Nov 12, 2013 By: Mathew Plale
Before Midnight order download
Director:
Richard Linklater

Actors:
Ethan Hawke
Julie Delpy
Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In this third installment of the Before series, Jesse (Hawke) and Cline (Delpy), now parents, come to a crossroads while in Greece.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
When we last saw Jesse and Cline, the latter was dancing to a Nina Simone song and the former was gladly telling her hed miss his plane. Nine years later, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Cline (Julie Delpy) are the parents of twin girls and spending time on a Greek peninsula.

Where 1995s Before Sunrise saw the birth of the bond and 2004s Before Sunset served as primarily an extension that hinted of a future, Before Midnight finds the two in a full-on relationship. Jesse is still writing and now has a son with his ex-wife back in Chicago. Cline is exploring career options that could land the family in another country.

Theyve come so far and now their options are running low and their needs are farther apart than ever. Two decades later, they seem to have reached the edge. Early on, Cline states, So this is how it ends. Later on, things will be said that can never be unheard.

Although this is the rockiest weve seen the couple (everything up to this point has been laughter and reminiscing and romance), its still nice to catch up with them, to see where theyve gone and who theyve become.

Before Midnight is again directed by Richard Linklater and co-written by Linklater, Hawke and Delpy (who earned a Best Adapted Screenplay nod for Before Sunset). It is shot in the same style as the first two, with long, uninterrupted takes that call to mind a play and deep, thoughtful conversations that are natural and purposeful. Linklater, Hawke and Delpy have such a firm grasp on the characters, their story and the series that there isnt an ounce of phoniness to be found. To those that have followed the films since the beginning, Jesse and Cline are as authentic as characters come.

While much of that stems from the screenplay, so much credit belongs to the acting abilities of Hawke and Delpy. They give performances with such dimension and insight that their characters become people. These are turns so genuine and complex that they set the bar for how relationships should be portrayed on film.

Before Midnight is the sequel done right. There are no repeated scenarios that have gone stale (see: The Hangover trilogy) or characters introduced simply to fill out empty space (see: any horror sequel). It was made not for paychecks or accolades, but because it felt right to do. We hope it feels right again in 2022.

THE EXTRAS
Commentary with Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and Richard Linklater: Hawke, Delpy and Linklater deliver a strong track that fans of the film and series will find informative and a worthwhile listen.

Revisiting Jesse & Cline (7:20): The director and stars discuss returning to the series, developing the ideas, the difference between Before Midnight and its predecessors, and more.

Q&A with Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and Richard Linklater (37:02): In this Q&A session, moderator Elvis Mitchell sits down with the trio for a conversation about Before Midnight. Topics include financing, location shooting, the screenplay, the tone, and much more.

Theatrical Trailer

Previews

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Before Midnight offers a chance for fans to not only catch up with Jesse and Cline, but to see them in a new light as a couple at a crossroads. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy prove here that their work as actors deserves as much attention as their writing. Special features include a lengthy Q&A, a commentary and more.
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