Tom 🦜 Wilton 🦍’s review published on Letterboxd:
The word perfect is over-used. Admittedly, I over-use it myself. I instinctively describe things as perfect based on my initial reaction to them, to the point that I've began to doubt my own interpretation of the word. Richard Linklater's Before... trilogy has restored my faith in the use of it. Unconditionally, Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight make up a trilogy which is the true embodiment of every definition, interpretation and utterance of the word perfect. And that is an opinion I will succumb to, and embrace, for the rest of my life. These three beautiful films epitomize the connection I actively and passionately seek for in moving pictures.
I think the best phrase to describe the trilogy as a whole is "fantastical realism". An oxymoron I know, but I think it sums up the overall style of each film and the sheer pulchritude they exude. Never has there been a singular film which is comparable to how this trilogy reflects real life and human nature while encapsulating the true, almost mythical beauty of it, that we know exists in reality but rarely experience.
Before Midnight, the conclusion to the aforementioned trilogy, only solidifies how consistently perfect each film has been. It is much deeper and mature on a thematic level, as it explores Jesse and Celine as 40 year old's, naturally reflecting how mature and complex their lives have become. Love, family, age, marriage, time, conflict, choices, sacrifices are only a handful of issues the film discusses through Jesse and Celine's signature conversations. But it could perhaps be argued that Before Midnight is much more passionate in it's presentation of how Jesse and Celine deal with these issues, and also much more succinct with it's message. I think an important message to take away and fully embrace from this film is about "staying grounded in the present". People spend too much of their time dwelling on the past and dreaming of the future, instead of being mindful and engaging with the here and now; the gift of the present day. And I think that is a key message the film is trying to make, which I wholeheartedly agree with.
It would be a great effort for me to pinpoint and discuss in detail all the reasons I love this film and the whole trilogy in general, but the overall consensus is that Before Midnight is the best film of 2013 so far for me, and moreover all three films make up my favourite trilogy of all time. Thank you Richard Linklater for allowing me and many other people to watch and indulge in the lives of two people who are much more interesting than me and essentially everyone I know. Jesse and Celine aren't characters to me, they are two people who embody what humans should be like.