Saturday, June 8, 2013

98% Before Midnight

All Critics (91) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (88) | Rotten (2)

Having created and aged into their characters, both Delpy and Hawke are superb at doing what professional actors find so difficult - not seeming to act.

Offers a remarkably intimate and provocative study of a marriage.

Lovely. Insightful. Sad. Funny.

If the first two films belong with the greatest (if talkiest) movie romances of all time, the new film is richer, riskier, and more bleakly perceptive about what it takes for love to endure (or not) over the long haul.

Hawke and Delpy, who co-wrote the screenplay with Linklater, have the sort of rapport that makes you believe they've loved each other for years. This makes it all the more painful when they start to drift apart.

One of the best films of 2013 and the irresistible climax to Richard Linklater's trilogy of on-the-run amour.

The problem I that the actors are so comfortable in their roles, the cease to be real.

Not since the 1950s, and movies such as The Best Years of Our Lives, have we seen such an adult treatment of long-term relationships in American cinema, all of which makes Before Midnight as refreshing as it is smart, and as bold as love itself.

From moment to moment, the concerns of this frank and funny movie seem small, but the subject proves to be love, the biggest one of all.

The conclusion of a trilogy that...has subtly depicted the birth, growth and maturation of a man-woman relationship with its inevitable vacillations between affection, sacrifice, self-concern and acrimony.

Linklater makes use of unshowy direction and natural improvisation from his leads, who both get co-writing credits, creating a remarkably unforced picture of love kindled and rekindled.

It's not that Delpy and Hawke don't have the chemistry, they're terrific together, but their overemphatic ways feel false in a film that's endeavoring for realism.

Implacable and illusory, contingent on bodies and beliefs, time moves for the characters in Before Midnight, and maybe more importantly it moves for you, too.

...a bright, good-humored, and painfully combative love story that stings more than it soothes.

It's hard to remember another film where the ache of life's passing, and the ghostly memory of youthful freedoms has been more piercingly evoked.

...the sense of intimacy and urgency that was so palpable in the earlier films is lessened here.

American cinema has only rarely produced a pair of entangled lovers as flawlessly lived-in and carefully observed.

What a remarkable film it is --- filled with laughter, love at its best and worst, and moments of poignancy that make you weep.

They could probably do a fourth film, call it "Before 3:15 A.M.", and still be more entertaining than most of the movies available today.

We're happy to go along for the ride.


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