Before Midnight (film)

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Before Midnight
Before Midnight poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Richard Linklater
Produced by Richard Linklater
Christos V. Konstantakopoulos
Sara Woodhatch
Written by Richard Linklater
Julie Delpy
Ethan Hawke
Based on Characters 
by Richard Linklater and Kim Krizan
Starring Ethan Hawke
Julie Delpy
Music by Graham Reynolds
Cinematography Christos Voudouris
Editing by Sandra Adair
Studio Castle Rock Entertainment
Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics
Release dates
  • January 20, 2013 (2013-01-20) (Sundance)
  • May 24, 2013 (2013-05-24) (limited)
  • June 14, 2013 (2013-06-14) (wide)
Running time 109 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Greek
French
Budget $3 million[1]
Box office $20,737,030[2]

Before Midnight is a 2013 American romantic drama film and the sequel to Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004). Like its predecessors, the film was directed by Richard Linklater and stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. Co-written by Linklater, Hawke and Delpy, the film picks up the story in Before Sunset nine years on when Jesse (Hawke) and Céline (Delpy) spend a summer vacation together in Greece.

Following a limited opening in May, the film was released wide in June 2013 and grossed over $20 million worldwide. As with the previous film, Before Midnight received widespread acclaim and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Plot[edit]

Nine years after the conclusion of Before Sunset, Jesse (Hawke) and Céline (Delpy) are a couple and parents to twin girls conceived when they got together for the second time. Jesse is also struggling to maintain his relationship with his teenage son, Hank (Davey-Fitzpatrick), who lives in Chicago with Jesse's ex-wife and who, after spending the summer with Jesse and Céline on the Greek Peloponnese peninsula, is being dropped off at the airport to fly home. Jesse has continued to find success as a novelist, while Céline is at a career crossroads, considering a job with the French government.

After dropping off Hank at the airport, the couple discuss their worries about Hank having a healthy childhood and Céline deciding what to do with her career, before returning to the house of their Greek friend, Patrick (Lassally). Over dinner they discuss ideas about love and life, and the other people staying with them buy Jesse and Céline a hotel room for that night so they can have some time alone. While walking to the hotel, the couple reminisce about how they met and how their lives have changed since then. When they arrive at the hotel, however, the two have a vicious argument, as both of them pour out their fears about a present and future together.

Céline eventually storms out of the hotel room, telling Jesse she doesn't think she loves him anymore before sitting in the hotel's outdoor restaurant alone. Jesse joins her and playfully tries to explain to her how things can be different from tonight. Céline initially finds his attempts childish, saying that their fantasies will never match the imperfect reality their relationship constantly goes through. Jesse then proclaims his love to her, saying that he loves her unconditionally and is not sure what else she could want from a relationship. Céline suddenly resumes Jesse's joke and the two seem to reconcile.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Linklater, Hawke, and Delpy all had suggested the possibility of a sequel to Before Sunset. In a video interview in November 2011, Hawke said that he, Delpy and Linklater "have been talking a lot in the last six months. All three of us have been having similar feelings, that we're kind of ready to revisit those characters. There's nine years between the first two movies and, if we made the film next summer, it would be nine years again, so we started thinking that would be a good thing to do. So we're going to try and write it this year."[3][4]

In June 2012, Hawke confirmed that the sequel to Before Sunset would be filmed in summer 2012.[5] Soon after, Delpy denied filming would take place in 2012, stating that they were still only writing the script and that filming would not take place until "sometime in the next year, year and a half."[6] However, in August 2012, numerous reports emerged from Messenia, Greece, that the film was in fact being shot there.[7] When asked about the reports, this time Hawke stated that he, Delpy and Linklater were in Greece only to write the film, telling MTV News that "we're here writing a third installment to Before Sunrise. If it works out, we'll film it, and if it doesn't, we won't. It's not really worth talking about. I'm just here developing."[8] However, Hawke and Delpy's denial was proven to be a ruse when the completion of filming of the new movie, titled Before Midnight, was announced on September 5, 2012.[9]

Linklater later revealed that after 10 weeks of writing and rehearsing, the film was made in 15 days for less than $3 million,[1] and he aimed to take it to a film festival in early 2013.[10]

Release[edit]

Before Midnight premiered on January 20, 2013, at a 9:45 p.m. showing at the Ellen Eccles Theatre in Park City, Utah, at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.[11] It then had its international premiere out of competition at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival.[12]

The film opened to general audiences on May 24, 2013, at five theaters in New York, Los Angeles and Austin.[13] It was released wide in 897 theaters on June 14, 2013.[14]

Box office[edit]

The film grossed $8,110,621 domestically and $12,626,409 overseas, for a worldwide gross of $20,737,030.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Like its two predecessors, Before Midnight received widespread critical acclaim. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 98% based on reviews from 172 critics, with an average rating of 8.7/10. The site's consensus is: "Building on the first two installments in Richard Linklater's well-crafted Before trilogy, Before Midnight offers intelligent, powerfully acted perspectives on love, marriage, and long-term commitment."[15] Metacritic gives the film a score of 94 based on reviews from 41 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". It was listed as the third best film of the year after 12 Years a Slave and Gravity.[16] It was the second best reviewed film of 2013 according to Rotten Tomatoes, after Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity.[17]

According to Total Film's Philip Kemp, "As with its two predecessors—and with the films of French New Wave director Éric Rohmer, presiding deity of this kind of cinema—Midnight's essentially a film about people talking. But when the talk's this good, this absorbing and revealing and witty and true, who's going to complain?" Kemp gave the film five out of five stars and called it a "more-than-worthy, expectations-exceeding chapter in one of modern cinema's finest love stories. As honest, convincing, funny, intimate and natural as its predecessors."[18]

Perry Seibert of AllMovie also praised the film, writing: "The screenwriting trio fill the movie with long, discursive conversations (there are only two scenes in the first 20 minutes) that feel utterly improvised when they are performed, but are far too deftly structured to be anything other than the work of consummate artists."[19] Eric Kohn, from Indiewire, gave the film rave reviews, adding it to his list of Top 10 Films of 2013. He wrote that "With Before Midnight, Richard Linklater has completed one of the finest movie trilogies of all time."[20]

Accolades[edit]

Accolades
Award / Film Festival Date Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result
Academy Awards[21] March 2, 2014 Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke Nominated
AARP Annual Movies for Grownups Awards[22] January 6, 2014 Best Screenwriter Richard Linklater (with Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke) Won
Austin Film Critics Association Awards[23][24] December 17, 2013 Best Film Before Midnight Nominated
Best Austin Film Richard Linklater Won
Bodil Awards[25] February 1, 2014 Best US Feature Richard Linklater Nominated
Boston Online Film Critics Association[26] December 8, 2013 Ten Best Films of the Year Before Midnight Won
Best Screenplay Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Won
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards[27][28] December 16, 2013 Best Screenplay: Adapted Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Nominated
Critics' Choice Awards[29][30] January 16, 2014 Best Adapted Screenplay Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Nominated
Louis XIII Genius Award Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Won
Denver Film Critics Society[31][32] January 13, 2014 Best Adapted Screenplay Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Nominated
Detroit Film Critics Society[33] December 13, 2013 Best Film Before Midnight Nominated
Best Actress Julie Delpy Nominated
Best Screenplay Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Nominated
Golden Globe Awards[34] January 12, 2014 Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Julie Delpy Nominated
Gotham Awards[35] December 2, 2013 Best Film Before Midnight Nominated
Hollywood Film Festival[36] October 17, 2013 Screenwriter(s) of the Year Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Won
Houston Film Critics Society Awards[37] December 15, 2013 Best Picture Before Midnight Nominated
Best Screenplay Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Nominated
Indiana Film Critics Association[38] December 16, 2013 Best Film Before Midnight Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Won
Independent Spirit Awards[39][40] March 1, 2014 Best Screenplay Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Nominated
Best Female Lead Julie Delpy Nominated
Los Angeles Film Critics Association[41] December 8, 2013 Best Screenplay Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Won
National Society of Film Critics[42] January 4, 2014 Best Actress Julie Delpy Nominated
Best Screenplay Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Won
New York Film Critics Online[43] December 8, 2013 Best Picture Before Midnight Nominated
Best Films of 2013 Before Midnight Won
Online Film Critics Society Awards[44] December 16, 2013 Best Film Before Midnight Nominated
Best Actress Julie Delpy Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Nominated
San Diego Film Critics Society[45] December 11, 2013 Best Adapted Screenplay Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Won
San Francisco Film Critics Circle[46] December 13, 2013 Best Adapted Screenplay Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Nominated
Satellite Awards[47][48] February 23, 2014 Best Adapted Screenplay Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Nominated
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards[49][50] December 16, 2013 Best Adapted Screenplay Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Nominated
Best Art-House or Festival Film Before Midnight Nominated
Toronto Film Critics Association[51][52] December 16, 2013 Best Adapted Screenplay Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Nominated
Best Actress Julie Delpy Nominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards[53] December 9, 2013 Best Adapted Screenplay Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Nominated
Women Film Critics Circle[54] December 16, 2013 Screenwriting Award Julie Delpy Won
Best Equality of Sexes Before Midnight Won
Best Screen Couple Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke Won
Writers Guild of America Award[55] February 1, 2014 Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Nominated

^[I] Each date is linked to the article about the awards held that year.

Top ten lists[edit]

According to Metacritic, the film appeared on the following critics' top 10 lists of 2013.[56]

The A.V. Club film critics named "The fight" scene the Scene of the Year.[74]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]