This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
SilentDawn’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Before Midnight might just be the best film in the Before trilogy. Darker, more raw, more tender, more emotional (if that's even possible), and more heartfelt; Before Midnight is a perfect combination of all of Linklater's talents, and this film couldn't be more special.
What I loved most about this installment is that the arc that our favorite characters take is much more devastating and drastic than you could possibly imagine. Before my viewing, I heard a lot about this film being depressing or dreary. Sure, that is true, but what we also have is a film that is honest and truthful, no matter the situation.
Almost every scene in this film is gold. The opening conversation with Jesse's son. The long takes in the car ride. The small moment where Jesse finds out his grandmother died, and we don't know until later. The dinner conversation. The walk to the hotel room.
And then, what audiences receive is a gift from the cinematic gods, a 30 minute hotel sequence that is one of the finest pieces of cinema that I have seen in a VERY long time. Truly, this sequence is absolutely perfect. It's dark, it's intense, it's verbal warfare almost; And by the end of it, all that's left is one less person in a hotel room. I just can't say enough great things about that sequence, how this didn't win Best Adapted Screenplay at last years Oscars is beyond my understanding. Really? Before Midnight was easily the best written film of last year in that category. No contest.
The acting is incredible, with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy giving primal and powerful performances throughout. The cinematography is natural and breathtaking. The direction is just immaculate, with Linklater doing his thing like no one else can.
All in all, Before Midnight is easily one of the best films that I have seen from 2013, and it might just be the best in the trilogy.