EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|BEFORE MIDNIGHT (director/writer: Richard Linklater; screenwriters: Ethan Hawke/Julie Delpy; cinematographer: Christos Voudouris; editor: Sandra Adair; music: Graham Reynolds; cast: Ethan Hawke (Jesse), Julie Delpy (Celine), Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick (Hank), Jennifer Prior (Ella), Charlotte Prior (Nina), Ariane Labed (Anna), Walter Lassally (Patrick), Athina Rachel Tsangari (Ariadni), Xenia Kalogeropoulou (Natalia), Panos Koronis (Stefanos), Rachel Tsangari (Athina); Runtime: 109; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Richard Linklater/Christos V. Konstantakopoulos/Sara Woodhatch; Sony Pictures Classics; 2013-in English with some French & Greek dialogue)|
|"The acting, the
dialogue and direction are superb."
by Dennis Schwartz
talky third leg of the engaging trilogy directed by
Richard Linklater ("Before Sunset"/"Before
Sunrise"/"Dazed and Confused") is "A My Dinner With
Andre" relationship film about a modern-day romance
that extends from 1995, when the lovers were in their
twenties and met on a train to Vienna, until the
present, when the lovers are in their forties and on a
Greek holiday. Their Greek experience probes their
long-term commitment and parenthood. It's cleverly
written by Linklater and co-stars Julie Delpy
and Ethan Hawke.
In idyllic countryside
Greece (no scenes of political strife), the Parisian
environmentalist Celine (Julie Delpy) and the divorced
American writer Jesse (Ethan Hawke), an unmarried couple
living in Paris, upon the invitation of a
writer named Patrick (Walter Lassally), vacation in one of his
guest houses with their twin daughters.
The pic opens as Jesse
sends his adolescent son (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick), who spent the summer on
Greece with dad, back by plane alone to his mother
in Chicago. Jesse has written a best-seller
about his relationship with Celine, and has used the
summer holiday to start writing his next book.
After saying farewell to
his son, Jesse and Celine drive through the
countryside to their guest house. The twins sleep in
the back seat while their mom and dad engage in
playful banter about his guilt of sending his son
back to his screwed-up ex-wife and the pitfalls and
joys of their relationship. When they reach their
lodging, their guests hear Jesse out as he describes
what he's trying to do in his next book, and all the
guests attend a farewell dinner for the likable
couple. The next day the couple take a long walk to
the village and talk incessantly while wandering
through the countryside. One of the friendly guest
house couples (Panos Koronis and Rachel
Tsangari) give the couple a gift to
spend a night away from the twins in a suite at the local hotel. While
there the couple tease each other and then get
caught up in a more serious conversation about their
present anxieties and the strains on their seemingly
perfect relationship, which leads to a finely tuned
heated argument over this and that.
The mature, humorous, intelligent and somewhat melancholy but unique, intimate and realistic romance film is an homage to imperfection and how difficult it is to make a relationship work. The acting, the dialogue and direction are superb.
REVIEWED ON 6/19/2013 GRADE: A-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ