Before Midnight

Before Midnight ★★★★★

Before Midnight was by far my most anticipated film of the year but was also the one I least wanted to see. Its predecessors, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, are the best films ever made about love and the latter is also the most romantic film ever made, as well as being my favourite film.

It, in all honestly, could never live up to my hopes. But I realised very early on that it is not trying to, having a very different intent to the previous two films. Before Sunrise was a film about meeting someone for the first time and falling in love, while Before Sunset saw that love revisited years later armed with the knowledge that there are truly few people in life with whom we completely connect. With romance and falling love at their filmic hearts, both films are eminently likeable.

Linklater, Delpy and Hawke make a brave decision with this third installment to present a film that is not as likeable as the first two, instead making an emotionally honest film that is uncomfortable to watch in places. We have seen the central two characters fall deeply love and have fallen in love with them ourselves; now, this film asks, can that love sustain itself years later? The film questions if romance and romantic love is doomed to end or if love can win its seemingly impossible fight against the cruel and undefeatable hand of time.

Unlike the last two films, this will never be an easy or comfortable watch. It is also the film that I can currently relate to the least based upon my own life experiences, and I suspect this is also why it was received less warmly by some critics when compared to the previous two films. None of these facts alter my strong belief that this adds and develops to the best filmed story of love and romance in the history of cinema. It is unmissable and the best film of 2013.

David liked this review