Brandon’s review published on Letterboxd:
and here we are. at the very end of (maybe) Richard Linklater's Before trilogy. and this one feels like the answer to the whole "what if" question posed by the first two installments. we finally get to see Céline and Jesse living on the same wavelength. we see their lives together after all this time.
and just like the first two, this one is just as real and powerful as they were. we're still slowly unraveling the many layers of who these two are. and we are seeing the aftermath of their happiness. the other people that had the not-so-great effects of their epic love saga.
but as with real life. there is no "happy ending." while we still get that great back-and-forth dialogues like the first two. we still see the strain on life's turmoils effect their love for each other. the two, are happy, but they are frustrated because it isn't this picture-perfect life that they so desperately longed for. there is some wrinkles in their happily ever after.
unlike the previous two where the best scenes are when they are falling in love, and we see the chemistry between Delpy and Hawke, in Before Midnight it's the opposite. it's their fighting that gives that moment. their emotions all bottled up and their frustrations finally being revealed.
Delpy and Hawke are at their best here. maybe it's because they're older, and the material is a little deeper, but the two are so comfortable. and everything feels so organic and authentic. nothing feels rehearsed, its as if we're watching these intimate moments as a fly on the wall.
it's the cherry on top of the sundae. with Linklater's delicate hand, and all there's perfectly honest Screenplay make for a satisfying conclusion (if this is the end).
that last scene on the patio, perfectly sums up this beautiful love story of Céline and Jesse.