|Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke carry on a fifteen-minute conversation among many. This one was all in one take.|
I got to watch one of my favorite romantic couples in cinema history, have it out in Before Midnight, bringing their eighteen-year relationship close to an end.
For those unfamiliar, since 1995, actors Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy have collaborated with director Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused) in films about Jesse and Celine, two lovers who talk. Each film is a conversation-based drama.
In Before Sunrise, the two meet on a train in Austria and hit it off so well, they decide to spend the rest of the night walking around Vienna, only to go their separate ways at the end. In Before Sunset the two catch up with one another in Paris, sharing life stories and their struggle into adulthood. Now, in Before Midnight, they seem to have stuck together, have twin daughters, are vacationing in Greece and have the difficulties of a relationship on which to reflect.
Except for the British Up documentaries, I have never seen another cinematic series of this kind. These are two characters - fictional, yes - who are very real to me. With all three as writers, Linklater and the two actors are fearless in the realistic direction they take these two as they age.
The dialogue of Celine and Jesse is perfectly engaging to me. It’s not for everyone. We all go to the movies for different reasons. I feel grateful that these artists felt it necessary to bring these characters back to the big screen, even when there's no big audience eagerly awaiting.