Kenny’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review contains minor spoilers for Before Midnight and Before Sunset
Finally, one of my most anticipated films of this year is here. It's finally here. Even though I just discovered this trilogy a few months ago, it felt like it would be years away until I would see Before Midnight in theaters. But, just in the simplest terms, this film lived up to all of my expectations, just when I thought this year would be the worst year for sequels in a long time. But Before Midnight proved me wrong.
Before Sunrise has to be one of my favorite romance films of all time. It just got everything I wanted right in a love story and it didn't feel sappy in the slightest. I'm not that one person who is very fond of most romantic films that are released nowadays, so it was a big deal for me. Before Sunrise ended ambiguously, raising the question of "Did he stay or did he go?". Well, Before Midnight answers that exact question many have been asking for the past 9 years.
Just as I expected, Before Midnight is just as authentic and real as it's two predecessors. The writing is top-notch, never making any discussion between the two leads, Jesse and Celine, feel out of place or unmemorable. Everything feels so natural, to the point where I could see Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy being a couple in real life. I could see Jesse and Celine being a couple I would see walking down the street, I could see them being a couple I would actually know in real life. The chemistry between them is unlike anything I have ever seen before. There's also quite an amount of quotable lines as well. They talk about everything, ranging from politics to children to marriage and to life in general. Every single line and piece of dialogue that is exchanged between Jesse and Celine is written so well and with so much thought put into it, so much that I cannot do anything but praise it.
Richard Linklater's direction is great. The long almost 13-minute take of Jesse and Celine driving back from the airport talking about basically anything and everything is fantastic and never felt drawn out. Choosing Greece as the latest backdrop in his latest Before film was very good, even though I still prefer Vienna in 1995's Before Sunrise. The third act of the film is basically a huge, blown-out argument between Jesse and Celine. It's highly emotional and I couldn't really take one side when they were arguing, which I really loved. The way that Before Midnight ends is perfect, even though I want to see more of Jesse and Celine, I honestly think it should end here.
Everything that I loved in Before Sunrise and Before Sunset is here in Before Midnight, making it my favorite film of this year so far.