Before Midnight (2013) - 8 stars out of 10
I loved it but I hated it. “Before Midnight” goes to a much darker place in relationships than the previous love stories in this series. I suppose that it was time for a dose of the real world for Jesse and Celine, but you never want to see such a perfect love story fall on hard times. But that’s why this film enhanced the series instead of being the forgettable final chapter that ruined the entire thing: the relationship continues to evolve. Once again, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy act with such effortless and natural delivery of the script that it feels candid and real. Every relationship falls on hard times, even the ones that seem to be perfect. While this story is incredibly depressing, it also carries a message of hope. The screenplay has been nominated for an Oscar but aside from the fight scene, I don’t think that it is nearly as good as “Before Sunset.” Granted, this could be a result of my personal emotions as I don’t enjoy hearing this relationship fall apart instead of the actual quality of the script. But it’s so great to have the Academy recognize these films once again. The most amazing part of the series is that it is more than just a few chapters of a story. We are watching two characters grow old together, from a couple of young twenty-somethings to middle-aged parents. The question on everybody’s mind is the same: “Where will this couple find themselves nine years from now?” We can only pray that Hawke, Delpy, and director Richard Linklater will have the desire to further one of the most unique viewing experiences that you will ever see as it unfolds over DECADES in real time.