"More Talk, with Recriminations"
What You Need To Know:
BEFORE MIDNIGHT is a talky sequel about an American writer, Jesse, and a French environmentalist activist, Celine. It’s nine years after Jesse left his American wife for Celine. They have two twin daughters. The story opens with Jesse saying goodbye to his young son, Hank. Hank’s flying back to the USA after spending vacation in Greece with Jesse and Celine. Jesse’s upset he doesn’t have joint custody of Hank with his ex-wife. Jesse expresses his frustrations to Celine. She gets upset because Jesse apparently wants her to give up a lucrative job offer and live in Chicago, to be closer to Hank. After a long conversation, some peace is restored. Later, however, the subject comes up again. Suddenly, all the resentment building up comes out.
BEFORE MIDNIGHT is a talky, sometimes shrill drama about a shallow couple on the verge of splitting apart. Though the ending suggests their love may be able to overcome everything, the arguments beforehand are pretty distasteful. Most moviegoers won’t find BEFORE MIDNIGHT very appealing. It also has lots of strong foul language and explicit sexual content.
(PaPa, FeFe, Ro, C, H, Ab, LLL, V, SS, NN, A, D, MM) Strong slightly mixed pagan worldview with strong feminist feelings expressed by lead female character content and some light Romantic elements about emotional love in story about a troubled couple, plus visit to a small Christian shrine in Greece with, however, an offhand humanist content that seems anti-religion though scene seems reverent and respectful otherwise; about 67 obscenities (mostly “f” and “s” words but some “h” and “a” words), two strong profanities (one mentioning Christ and one mentioning Jesus) and 15 light exclamatory profanities; some violent arguing; man kisses common law wife’s nude breasts in hotel bedroom; shots of upper female nudity in hotel room; alcohol use; smoking; and, shrill arguments and recriminations between couple that’s lived together for nine years, with two young daughters.
BEFORE MIDNIGHT is another talky sequel to the love story between an American writer, Jesse, and a French environmentalist activist, Celine. This one shows the potential dissolution of their common law marriage, which means it becomes rather shrill and unappealing at several points. Also, all of Celine’s arguments against Jesse seem to derive from her radical feminist views. How you view her arguments will depend on your opinion of that secular leftist ideology.
The new movie story takes place nine years after Jesse left his American wife for Celine and almost 20 years after they met. They now have two beautiful twin daughters. The story opens with Jesse saying goodbye to his young son, Hank, as Hank is ready to fly back to the USA after spending vacation time with Jesse and Celine in Greece. It’s clear that Jesse is upset that he doesn’t have joint custody of Hank and can only see him once a year or so.
Back in the car with Celine and their daughters, Jesse expresses his frustrations about that at one point with Celine. She gets all upset because she thinks Jesse wants her to give up a lucrative job offer and live with him in Chicago, to be closer to Jesse’s son, Hank.
After a long conversation, Jesse is able to regain some peace and harmony with Celine. Later that evening, however, the subject comes up again in a Grecian hotel room, where they’re spending a final romantic getaway before returning to Paris. Suddenly, all the resentment building up between Jesse and Celine starts coming out. Celine starts relaying all the feminist anger she’s been holding within herself due to Jesse’s allegedly selfish, chauvinistic behavior.
Some critics are enamored with the series of movies that began with BEFORE SUNRISE (1995) and BEFORE SUNSET (2004), but they are very talky movies about a two shallow people who fall in love. BEFORE MIDNIGHT is no exception to this, but in it, the two lovers are starting to fall out of love. The dialogue in the series has a veneer of intellectual profundity, so apparently that’s what’s attracting some people to them. However, the man is morally shallow, and the woman is preoccupied with her career and her politics. In BEFORE SUNSET, it was her environmentalism. In BEFORE MIDNIGHT, it’s her environmentalism and her modern radical feminism.
BEFORE MIDNIGHT also has a lot of strong foul language and strong sexual content. Most of the “action” takes place in a hotel room where Celine and Jesse rage against one another with all the recriminations that have built up during nine years of living together. Though the ending shows that their love may be able to overcome their problems, the arguments beforehand are pretty distasteful. Most moviegoers will not find BEFORE MIDNIGHT very appealing.