Before Midnight

Before Midnight ★★★★★

I said in my review for Magnolia that it is life condensed within 180 minutes. If that is true then Before Midnight is love condensed within 108 minutes.

Linklater strikes with his surely best film (even if School of Rock is one of my greatest pleasures), the sure best of the trilogy, and perhaps the best film of the year, and he is striking with Before Midnight. Just like the others and clones of the trilogy like Certified Copy, what sets it out is how realistic and honest it is to life. Sure I hear people complaining that the dialogue seems artificial, and while I completely disagree you can't deny that that statement is on to something. However all that statement is getting at is all dialogue in all films are artificial, and to give it to all of them straight, Before Midnight is as realistic as you are going to get. Still, even going past the dialogue, artificial or not, what creates the air of realism is the acting. It is how Hawke and Delpy deliver their lines, how they react to one another, how they rant, fight, love, talk. It is how the dialogue is given that makes it so real.

Every scene was true to life, to the point where hit me, a 17 year old boy too concerned with consuming pointless film and music knowledge to actually experience love, right at home. A key part of this was the opening scene of Jesse and his son at the airport. Every interaction between the two is exactly how my father and I react to each other. Everything Jesse says is exactly what a father would say or feel in that situation. Whether it is giving advice to his son, or saying something along the lines of "I love this level of conversation I am able to have with you" after his son says things simple lines "I don't know", "yes", or "no" (I do this all the time), or even the look on his face as his son walks off past security.

But the sense of realism in tune with even my life doesn't stop there, oh no. Even the interactions between the big quarrel in the hotel-room seems remarkably realistic to fights I have with my parents. Even if it is a major difference between the subjects, the tossing of blame, desperation to try and make the other see your point of view, and the desire to make yourself understood is all shown in all the ways it would actually play down in a realistic situation in even such a life as mine.

The realism is what makes this so perfect, and the legitimate and concrete emotional attachment it creates is what makes it so absorbing.
Before Midnight is the turmoils and stresses of love put to film, and it couldn't have been any better.

1st of 2013 (out of 39 as of 10/17/2013)

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