December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

November 24, 2013

Before Midnight (2013)

When it's over, much like some roles find its actors, some films find its audience. Watching this film in a time of personal unrest, I find the communication and dialogue between the lead actors extremely relevant to society's domestic life and spilling into some of my own experiences. Almost twenty years after the fateful meeting of Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) on a train bound for Vienna, the couple is now married with two children. On a family vacation in Greece, their relationship takes a dark turn. Before Midnight is another chapter in the characters' lives. Therefore, this is not a stand alone film, and the viewer needs to have seen the previous two films – Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004) – in order to understand the depth of the characters and from where they stem. Watching Jesse and Celine interact onscreen is still amazing, because they have grown older, wiser, and less idealistic. Hawke and Delpy have that “thing” together that when I watch them, either happy or angry, they are incredibly real and they suspend me with their relay of intelligent and biting dialogue.  And it is the rich dialogue that has been consistent through all three films that make the whole Before series a worthwhile journey. Before Midnight is the most gritty of the three, because it deals with the issues of resentment and blame, which the previous two films had not touched on. Again, this is very real, as couples do go through these “bitter moments” at some point in their relationships. The script is written by Director Richard Linkwater, Hawke, and Delpy. It is a fantastic piece of writing. The lead up to the argument and verbal abuse is incredibly raw, honest, and unexpected, and I have to wonder, how much of it is adlib, since there are hardly any cuts within the long extended scene. Regardless, the “fight” in the final act is the best part of the film. With each film taking place and filmed nine years apart, viewers can expect another installment in 2022, at which time, the audience will find out whether things really do end happily ever after for Jesse and Celine. 

My rating: 4.5 out of 5

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