There are lots of blockbuster franchise movies coming out this summer (Iron Man 3, Avengers 2), but the one I’m most excited about seeing isn’t really a “franchise” film at all. It’s Before Midnight, the third movie in director Richard Linklater’s set of films that began with 1995’s Before Sunrise. In this lyrical, romantic film, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy play a couple destined for each other. They meet on a train to Vienna and spend one magical day and night together before going their separate ways, promising to meet again in six months. The beauty of the movie is that it’s completely real: there’s no artifice to the characters, and the film is just dialogue. No action scenes, no over-the-top drama. And it goes straight to my heart.
Much to my delight, in 2004, Linklater filmed a sequel to Before Sunrise, aptly named Before Sunset. Equally beautiful and romantic, the film catches up with the couple nine years later, when they meet and spend a day in Paris and discover the realities of adulthood conflict with their youthful ideals. While I didn’t think this film was as strong as the first, it was still wonderful to see Delpy and Hawke reunite and reignite their terrific on-screen chemistry.
So I’m really looking forward to seeing the next stage of the relationship in Before Midnight. The couple is now married and living in Paris, dealing with the realities of day-to-day life and parenting. Apparently the film no longer has the fairy-tale quality that defined the first two films, but maintains its ability to show the characters as they really are. Entertainment Weekly calls Before Midnight“enchanting entertainment that's also the most honest and moving film about love in years.”
If you want to check out either of the first two movies, go to our catalog: