Before Midnight

Before Midnight ★★★½

The Alphabet Club.

Before Midnight is the consequence of the winding, roving journey through adulthood that Linklater formerly explored in the anterior films of the trilogy. As the end-game to the taut, Linklater-patented ecosystem that has the point of life it explores preceded by the preposition before, it's only natural that this is the most calculated, well-contained one of the bunch. The vitriolic nature is what surprises the most: moments of levity are precisely interspersed so as to (supposedly) maintain a sense of balance on the tonal field. The jocular nature that fitfully creeps beneath the frames is also a reason for concern - or perhaps, irritability. Delpy's sexual-centric quips are very welcome, but their sheer abundance becomes tiring as the film wears on. Nevertheless, potent filmmaking is what's up for offer here, with a few dips in the usually high frequencies in which the wavelength operates. The impregnable question still arises when after the credits start rolling out - is any marriage perfect? Delpy & Hawke would certainly beg to differ, but there's a certain beauty in the imperfect, and there they would concur.

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