Thursday, October 26, 2017

Why Haven't I Seen That?: BEFORE MIDNIGHT

Welcome to another installment of WHY HAVEN'T I SEEN THAT?, where we talk about a must-see or iconic movie that we haven't seen...until now. This week we take a look at the independent drama BEFORE MIDNIGHT, starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.

I found this gem on Netflix by searching through the independent movie section. This film is the third in a trilogy, including Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. It was co-written by Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.

In this film, Jesse and Celine are on vacation in Greece with their twin daughters. Their romance is put to the test because of Jesse's custody issues with his son and the fact that Celine wants to take a job Jesse disapproves of.

The first scene that caught my eye was between Jesse, played by Hawke, and his teenage son Henry. He was dropping him off at the airport after they had spent the summer in Europe together. It was a very heartfelt moment and divorce is an extremely painful experience, both for child and parent.

Before Midnight is a continuation of the other two films in the trilogy. I didn't know this until after watching the film. Now, I'm definitely going to have to go back and watch the other two films, which I would have done had I known about them.

A great aspect of this film is the relationship between Jesse and Celine. Their relationship isn't depicted as a fairy tale. They have fights over Henry, their daughters, and possibly moving to the United States. I found it refreshing that the relationship was shown with real problems that all couples face. The couple portrayed in the film obviously love each other. But, they have many obstacles to overcome to make their relationship work.

Another scene I connected with is when Jesse accuses Celine of complaining too much. Celine fires back with the fact that she stayed home with their daughters while he traveled for his writing career. In most relationships, there are always issues with who does what with the kids or whose career comes first. Delpy and Hawke showed great chemistry throughout the film and I thought it was one of Hawke's best performances.

The film's scenic location of Greece captivated me. It was breathtaking, and I felt as if I was actually there.  Sometimes the location of a film may make or break a film. It definitely made this film. A film's location is more important than most people realize.

Before Midnight was received well by critics and received an approval rating of 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Roger Ebert gave it four stars and said, "The film offers an appropriate and natural view on the experience of a consummated love."

This was a fantastic film with a great location and great performances. Now, I will have to watch the other films in the trilogy. Before Midnight is a great example of a realistic love story with ups and downs, and I would definitely recommend it as a great date night movie.

Lisa's Score: 9/10

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