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Before Midnight

Posted by martinteller on February 12, 2014

Gonna be a pretty quick review here, not a whole lot on my mind about this movie.  Although I’m not totally wild about these movies, I like catching up with Celine and Jesse every nine years.  It’s like Apted’s “Up” series, or on a different scale, what Bergman did with Scenes from a Marriage and Saraband.  That sense of continuity is inviting, somehow reassuring.  And this series is always pretty good, and this one is no exception.  It makes sense, of course, that things are not perfect in Celine/Jesse (Celesse?) land.  The argument that forms the film’s “climax” is one that you feel has happened before and will happen again, to varying degrees of intensity.  While I didn’t expect Linklater to make everything happy and wonderful in their relationship — something that would have been pleasant but ludicrous — it’s still good to see him poking at it a bit.

The main problem is one that I’ve had with every entry so far.  Both Delpy and Hawke are not quite on point when it comes to delivering natural-sounding dialogue, especially notable when there’s some bit of exposition to be squeezed in.  One might excuse Delpy for working outside her native tongue, but oddly it’s Hawke who appears slightly worse at it.  It’s not awful or anything, just sometimes a wee bit off… perhaps an inevitable side effect when there’s so much dialogue to work through.  Perhaps also due to a few spots in the script that aren’t quite right, lines that don’t sound like something you would say to someone who’s known you this long.

But otherwise it was quite fine.  It’s hard for me to “rank” the three films because I haven’t seen either of the other two since they came out.  I like them all roughly the same, and look forward to the next.  Rating: Very Good (81)


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