Saturday, June 7, 2014

At the Movies: 'Before Midnight'

Jessie and Celine are back, this time they're in Southern Greece on a holiday with their twin girls, who were conceived on that one night fling when Jessie was late for his plane in Paris in the last movie!  
So!  Jessie's wife gets pissed off, she divorces him gets their son - Henry - and the movie starts out with Jessie seeing 14 year old Henry off to Chicago at the end of his Summer Holidays.  Things are tense, but he promises to come and see his son's piano rehearsals and soccor game; but Henry says not to because it'll just piss off Mum... jeez, things really aren't looking good, are they?

Celine and him drive back through a winding road from the Kalamata Airport to a little township where they pick up some food at a grocer with their daughters.  On the way, they get back into their usual routine of chatting about things; it's like old times.  You feel as though they're back in Vienna and Paris, and that old zing is there in their relationship.  And soon, we're transported to this gorgeous old villa where they've been staying for the Summer, owned by a writer friend of Jessie.  This place has an orchard, organic vegetable garden, beautiful stone work and gardens where they all hang out, eat and drink and enjoy the shade while talking about life, sex, the past and the future of the human race.  Then, some friends tell Jessie and Celine that the hotel they've reserved was under Jessie's name, and Celine tries to get them out of it; to get back to Paris sooner, but they insist that they need time alone.

This is where the movie turns really tense.  Jessie and Celine are alone for the first time in over 7 years.  They have time alone to be just with each other without worrying about two little adventurer running amok!  They really begin to talk about everything that's been going on in their lives - just like they used to.  However, Celine is feeling old, she doesn't feel great about herself; and when they get to the hotel room, the shit really hits the fan and she lets out her frustrations on Jessie.  All the crap that she's been holding in for the whole time they've been together is being thrown at him, and incredibly, he just sits there and takes it... when any other guy would have walked out leaving her to simmer.

He takes her walking out twice after she screams at him about leaving her alone while he was away on book tours, accusing him of cheating when he 'supposedly broke his phone'... which he never really answered, but then when you think about it, he did.  She storms out, claiming she no longer loves him, leaving him alone with two glasses of untouched red wine, a half-drunk cup of tea and a bed which is not slept in.  

He finds her out at a pier restaurant overlooking a bay near the hotel, sits down and introduces himself as though it's the first time they've met.  She's still pissed off and tells him to go away.  Exactly how he gets her into his good graces again is well-done and very truthful.  

I found this movie wonderfully thought out and well-written.  Both of the characters are well-played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, and I noticed the music that's used in it, was also used in their previous movie 'Before Sunset' but it was given a Greek twist... how cool is that?  I wonder where they'll take us next, and what will happen next?  It's still left up in the air about Jessie's son, their relationship and if they will truly work out to be together for the next one or not.

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