Before Sunrise… Before Sunset… and now, just like that, Richard Linklater has reunited Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy and filmed Before Midnight.
That’s right. Even as some of us were still speculating as to whether this movie would actually happen, shazam! There it is!
I can’t help but wonder what Linklater thought of Certified Copy, my favorite film of 2010. As it followed the conversations of a man and a woman in a romantically unpredictable (ambiguous?) relationship, it was a sort of cousin to the Before films. But Kiarostami raised the bar, in my opinion. In its dialogue and its imagery, Certified Copy was as densely layered as any film I’ve seen in the last several years, one that rewards frequent viewings. I’d like to see Linklater learn from it, and venture into more sophisticated and imaginative visual composition.
Before Midnight, which has Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke reprising their roles as star-crossed lovers Celine and Jesse, was once again scripted by Linklater, Delpy and Hawke, the same team that got an Oscar nom in 2005 for Before Sunset. Linklater shot the film quietly, as many didn’t think it would happen before 2013.
I currently have the Criterion edition of My Dinner with Andre sitting on my living room coffee table so I can revisit it sometime soon. And recently I’ve enjoyed episodes of The Trip, in which Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon spend the movie in conversation over various meals. My favorite action-comedy is Midnight Run, which finds Robert DeNiro and Charles Grodin in constant conversation while traveling. If good writers are involved, two hours of conversation can be more exciting than the summer’s biggest blockbuster.
If you could cast a two-person movie and just watch them meander through conversations for 90 minutes, which two actors would you cast?